41 - 30 Anniversary Edition

Image of Swell - 41 - 30 Anniversary Edition

About this item

With the release of 41 in March 1994, Swell capped off a trilogy that began, somewhat unintentionally, with their self-titled debut Swell in 1990 and was followed by Well in 1992. All three albums share a birthplace in San Francisco, specifically at 41 Turk Street in the Tenderloin District - a neighborhood known more for its struggles with substance abuse and nightlife excesses than for any sort of tranquility.

This album sees the band further refining a sound they've been crafting since their inception: vocals tinged with disillusionment, a mix of acoustic and electric guitar, a bass that feels both sparse and distant, and drums that serve as a relentless backbone. And then there's the homemade tinkering: microphones placed at a distance, analog multi-tracks.

The band members themselves describe their music as being painted in shades of gray, blue, and brown, capturing an atmosphere that's at once dark, mysterious, and utterly captivating. There's a stark beauty and a sense of anticipation that permeates their work, like the calm before a storm. Listening to the album, you're treated to the intimate sounds of a creaking staircase, a ringing telephone in the distance, or the turn of a wheel. These auditory snapshots are meticulously preserved, bringing to life a recording process that not only captures the essence of the city but also taps into a deeper, often overlooked slice of American life.

The music is both moody and exquisitely beautiful, with layered songwriting and vocals that are hauntingly persistent. Even three decades later, the album's allure hasn't faded in the slightest.

David Freel (guitar, vocals), Monte Vallier (bass), Sean Kirkpatrick (drums).

This reissue is dedicated to the memory of David Freel, who passed away prematurely on April 12, 2022.


1. In The Door, Up The Stairs
2. Is That Important?
3. Song Seven
4. Kinda Stoned
5. Don't Give
6. Smile My Friend
7. Forget About Jesus
8. Here It Is
9. You're So Right
10. Fine Day Coming
11. (It's Time To) Move On
12. Down The Stairs, Out The Door
13. Lyrics

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