Inspired by the dawning era of swing music, we recorded 7 original songs and 4 covers in Reykjavík last February. Now we're raising money to put them out on an album - to mix and master the music, and to design and produce physical copies.
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Secret Swing Society's Debut Album

100%
  • Recording
  • Mixing
  • Mastering
  • Cover design
  • Production

Further Information

We are the Secret Swing Society: Andri the Icelandic country boy, Kristján from Hafnarfjörður, Grímur from the Reykjavík suburbs, Dominykas from Vilnius, Lithuania, and Guillaume from Antibes, France. We founded our band in Amsterdam in 2010, as a respite from the super-highbrow stuff we were studying at our conservatory, and decided to entertain ourselves and our friends with infectious, dance-friendly swing music.

We didn't bother with a drummer, which allowed us to stay aerodynamic enough to perform at plazas, markets and canals whenever the Amsterdam climate allowed. It also freed up some extra space in the van on our 2010 tour, which took us around The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France, playing both out in the streets and at seated, proper indoor venues. We've also made it to Iceland and Lithuania a few times, and have our sights set on Guillaume's home turf at the earliest opportunity.

To begin with, we stuck strictly to instrumental music by Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt and others, but quickly gravitated towards singing classics popularized by performers like Fats Waller, Slim & Slam and Nat King Cole. More than anything, though, we kept coming back to the arrangements of The Mills Brothers, because singing harmonies is the most fun a vertically aligned person can have. Slowly but surely, we started adding original tunes as well.

Last February, we commandeered a Reykjavík recording studio owned by our good friend Kjartan Kjartansson, and rigged up a pretty archaic setup. You see, we felt that the best way to stay true to the spirit of the music was to confine ourselves to a single pair of ribbon microphones, which were at the cutting edge of audio technology during the dawn of the swing era. With such a spartan arrangement, you can't do a whole lot of mixing after the fact, so the recording process had to be pretty old-fashioned too. If an instrument or voice became uncomfortably loud, the performer just had to move a smidgeon away from the microphone, and the band did the song all over again. And if the horn players wanted to kick up a racket during their solos, it behooved them to moonwalk a few steps back from the microphone, lest the cosmic balance of the mix be upset. This is a refreshing contrast to modern studio work, where all of the instruments have their own microphones, might even be recorded in separate passes, and the song is assembled, patchwork-style, afterwards.

We cut seven original songs – four in English, and one in Icelandic and sung by the living, breathing, Icelandic legend Björgvin Halldórsson – as well as four oldies arranged by us. Now we need a bit of help to put the results out on a record. Andri and Styrmir Hauksson still need to add a bit of polish to the recordings, Sigríður Ása Júlíusdóttir needs to design a cover, and then we need to manufacture actual, physical CDs. We're hoping that the audio previews here will win you over enough that you'll pledge some amount or other to the cause, and in return receive the goodies listed on the right side of this page.

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FINISHED

This project is now finished.

€4,023

raised of €4,000 goal.

0

days to go.

101% FUNDED
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