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Swirlies



Ever since their humble beginnings in the early '90s as a Go-Gos cover band -- then called Rasberry Bang -- The Swirlies have been about as different from the average pop group as you can get. They've achieved cult status in their native Boston and at colleges throughout the U.S. for their utterly unconventional sound, which blurs lo-fi bedroom pop cuteness, shoegazer drone, dream pop sheen, experimental noise, and electronics. Over the years the band has undergone numerous changes of personnel, though guitarist/singer Damon Tutunjian and bassist Andy Bernick have been involved in the band since the start. With each new member, The Swirlies seem to have gotten a little freer and a little wackier, wandering deeper and deeper into the peculiar gray area between pop and white noise, bringing in tape loops, Moogs and mellotrons, and random found sounds to complicate their sweet, ethereal melodies. In 1998, they took it one step further by inviting a number of top East Coast DJs, including DJ Spooky, to remix songs from their previous albums. The result was the playful, extremely peculiar Strictly East Coast Sneaky Flute Music.

Since that effort The Swirlies have been up to still more envelope-pushing antics with their 2000 release The Yes Girls, a collection of home recordings that's just loaded with random noise, tape manipulation, drum machines, and Casio worship -- oh, and some very pretty melodies. "One Light Flashing I Love You" and "Indian Ocean Nosedive" both come from that album.