Swing Out Sister mixes pop, jazz and sophistication

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UK pop group, Swing Out Sister, ushered in an era of sophistication that was sometimes missing in pop music in the 1980s. Put another way, the group picked up the tradition created by groups that illuminated jet-set lifestyles in the setting of pop music. Performers such as Duran Duran, Sade, and even the Style Council created moods that prized sophistication and world travel. Swing Out Sister’s “Twilight World” from the 1987 album “It’s Better to Travel” continued the idea of sophisticated modern pop songs.

Swing Out Sister and the sound of the 1980s

While pop music was no stranger to the idea of promoting jet-set lifestyles, mixing jazz with pop music made it sound a little more complex than typical pop songs. At the same time, even though the work of bands like Swing Out Sister was outside of former Top 40 norms, it was not alternative.

The soundscape that Swing Out Sister created was smooth, but supported by bass lines and accented by horns. Lead singer Corinne Drewery’s milk and honey voice is perfection on “Twilight World.” Her deeper register worked to distinguish Swing Out Sister from other pop groups. Certainly, Drewery’s voice was a bit higher and brighter on “Breakout.” But the theme of “Twilight World” is more serious, and “Breakout” is more escapist.

But it wasn’t just pop music that Swing Out Sister competed against; heavy metal, rap, and dance music were all evolving and making standout releases. Still, the music Swing Out Sister made sounded as though it was made for adults willing to broaden their horizons. Even the background sounds on “Twilight World” were of travel.

The future of Swing Out Sister

Swing Out Sister, as of 2017, was still releasing music. In 2014, the band created a project called “A Moveable Feast” on PledgeMusic, a platform that would allow listeners to invest in the production of a recording. The album that resulted is titled “Rushes.” The album was released in 2015. In 2017, the final portion of “A Moveable Feast” was released. Titled “Almost Persuaded,” it was made available to listeners in November of 2017.

If the recent past is any indication, there might be more touring and recording in Swing Out Sister’s future.

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