Like running through a field of sunflowers, on your way to a picturesque picnic, the new album Diamonds
by husband and wife duo Johnnyswim, is nothing short of a musical fantasy. There is much that can be said about the energy that fills the space between two people musically, and in the case of Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez, it's like watching fireworks exploding into a force field of unbridled lust for life. A cross between folk and blues, with some pop stylistic influences, this album establishes both a broad and rich artistic identity, one that over the course of the album, veers in several different directions yet is united by the common theme of love.
The blissful vocal chemistry between Sudano and Ramirez makes for both dynamic and compelling harmonies layered over resonant lyrics and energizing instrumentals. This powerful dynamic is best heard in the album's title track. From the soulful croon of Sudano's voice to the thrilling and unexpected harmonic development as Ramirez's voice joins in a seamlessly orchestrated dialogue, this song is a true work of art. With energy straight out of a movie montage, at the point where a young couple agrees to run away together, this track is epitomizes feel-good
Dispersed throughout the album, are a few tracks that peel back the layers and expose the less than perfect aspects of vulnerability, ultimately evening out the emotional experience for the listener. The bluesy "Pay Dearly" did just that. The quintessential revenge love song expertly utilizes the depth and emotion inherent of the genre as a vehicle for the song's message.
The overall arc of this album explores the human condition from a place of both passion and simplicity. It's a wholesome and satisfying listening experience that acts as a necessary reminder that happiness and contentment can be en Vogue. So often music is used to highlight gut-wrenching and devastating aspects of the human experience, however, even in the more stripped-back and vulnerable songs like "Falling for Me" and "Closer", there is still a deeply resonant energy of contentment. Lyrically, this album contains a level of intimacy and metaphoric prose that has the flow of poetry and the ease of pillow talk. Overall, Johnnyswim has made it clear that they are in it for the long haul (pun definitely intended).
is out now on Big Picnic Records. Get your hands on a copy here
, and be sure to check back with Baeble soon for our delightful session with Johnnyswim.