Seth Swirsky: Songs From The Green Couch (2022)

Here's another fantastic 2022 release that quietly slipped out, but I came across on a recent trowl through Bandcamp.

I originally discovered L.A. musician Seth Swirsky as one half of retro-power-pop act The Red Button (who I'd been turned on to because his partner in that act happened to have gone to my high school). Songs From The Green Couch is his fourth solo LP, and his solo work continues to place him among fine acts like Wondermints and Linus of Hollywood, bands who mine the strain of 60s pop rooted in Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper, sprouted into light psyche and sunshine pop reminiscent of the Zombies' Odessey & Oracle and the Millennium's Begin.

So all that name-checking should let you know what's in store here. Swirsky conjures some surprisingly sophisticated baroque pop: Opener "Sunny Day" is a dense, complex suite with shades of the Moody Blues, and "Dead" is similarly intricate, a bit more Lennon-esque. Other tunes, like "I Don't Wanna Lose You" are more straightforward power pop that remind me of his Red Button work. But the album overall seems less built around stand-alone pop tracks, instead building a cohesive whole, an album you want to take in in a single sitting as it traverses various strains of 60s-infused gentle pop.

(Swirsky is also an example of an artist where I need to separate the music from the persona; he used to be active on Twitter, with some egregious right wing bile that seemed at stark odds with the good-natured sunshine of his artistry; but I think he's since quieted down, at least publicly.)

You can buy this (and his earlier albums) on Bandcamp.