Swamp Baby are a new quartet that assembled for 48 hours last August to record the songs of master Baby, singer/guitarist Nick Matulis. Guitars, keys, and violin (but no bass!) yield a light and airy sound for Matulis’ downbeat, gloomy arrangements. “Seeing Stars” is whispered so delicately, it almost sounds like the sound left by shooting stars as they race across the skies to the delight of giddy lovers casting wishes below. Megan Hotter’s violin sneaks into the room unnoticed as Matulis begs his lover not to die in his arms, then tiptoes out – as fleeting and elegant as that aforementioned shooting star. Hotter’s mandolin also adds a downhome country vibe to the swinging “New Year’s Eve,” which could easily be mistaken for a lost Low track.
“Maine” and “Red Skies” are representative of the rest of the album, with their hazy, druggy, laidback groove reminiscent of David Crosby’s “If I Could Only Remember My Name,” with glistening guitars, sinewy violin, and soft vocals (supposedly, the album’s mellow vibe was necessary so as not to disturb the 12-step meeting held in the basement of the recording studio!) The latter even namechecks the Crosby masterpiece in it’s brief lyrics: “When I sail if you don’t remember my name, that’s OK.” An exciting new project definitely worth checking out when you’re in a chillout, heavylidded mood. It’s one of the best unsung releases to creep out of nowhere this year – don’t miss it. 9/10 -- Jeff Penczak (2 June, 2010)