Every once and a while, some people get really lucky. You all know what I’m talking about, people who have won the genetic and talent lottery. Well, here we have Johnnyswim, the awkward moniker for Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano. It’s appropriate that we’re posting this on the day that The Civil Wars’ new album comes out because these two could easily replace them as our favorite male/female duo. There’s power and energy on Heart Beats unlike anything I’ve heard in a while.
This 6 song EP is the band’s third, but will likely serve as the introduction to most of us. It’s an awesome example of what this band can do. There’s a few different styles at play here, all done incredibly well. The first song, the title track, sounds a lot like an Adele b-side. Amanda is an incredibly talented vocalist and this song showcases that. This song’s atmosphere, with background vocals and hand claps is an amazing example of layering a song. “Don’t Let It Get You Down” is another great, upbeat song that shows the duo’s ability to harmonize and how natural it feels.
“Adelina”, a song written by Ramirez for his mother, may be my song of the year so far. It starts off softly and acoustic and slowly adds keys, harmonies and grows into an incredibly rich song that changes styles fluidly and becomes a resounding anthem by the end. It’s brilliant. When the female vocals come in, it’s hard to not get chills. “Don’t Keep Heaven Busy” is a great love song, one that mirrors that conversation of what you’d do if your spouse died before you.
“Make” and “Annie” show off the more acoustic side of the group. “Make” is a great upbeat love song, and is vaguely reminiscent of The Lumineers with the pounding drums and party like background atmosphere. The ending is instrumental and folky and it’s a great mellow way to end the song and lead into “Annie”. The last track is an acoustic song about a love gone wrong. “The carpet still holds the shape of your feet./ From the last time I saw you, when you walked away from me.” It’s an emotional song, sung from both perspectives and it’s really powerful.
Welcome to the scene, Johnnyswim. We expect to hear much more and bigger things from you. Look out for this band to hit it very big and look for upcoming tour dates. This duo promises to be an amazing live show.