Sunday, May 06, 2007

Swati - birth of a star

In case you're planning on traveling to India anytime soon, here's your Hindi language lesson for the day: swati - birth of a star. Swati is also the name of a talented New York City native who released her debut album, Small Gods, on May 1st.

Amazingly, Swati began her musical pilgrimage with the trombone. Thankfully, she's since switched to a twelve string guitar fitted with only eight. At some points she snarls with estrogen-powered angst a la Ani DiFranco; in others she sings with a delicate voice reminiscent of Jewel's earlier work. At all points she sings with a personal flair.

Have you ever bought a new CD and while listening to it you come across a song that you've never heard before but when you do you keep rewinding it and listening to it over and over? That was what happened to me when I first listened to Blackjack, the first song below. On it's surface, it's about the card game where your goal is to reach 21. Delving deeper reveals a song written about a one night relationship Swati had with a prostitute and her search for a deeper connection with another individual. It really speaks to the inner need in all of us to find that soul in the world with which to share our lives.

i got a prostitute
in an atlantic city bar
she said what would you like to do
you look kinda normal but you still got NYC all over you

just hold my hand when the six card drops
hold my hand when the money runs out
dealer's got blackjack

she said don't you got no friends
i said yes ma'am but today i'm sick of them
well don't you got no lovers
i said no ma'am i'm always chasing the hearts i can never have

so just hold my hand when the six card drops
just hold my hand when the money runs out
dealer's got blackjack

monday i called my summer love
i said please see me i need to talk about stuff
she blamed it on the dopamine weirdy
and gently sent me on my way
tuesday i called my first love i said please see me i need to remember who i was
she said you're definitely not the same person today
i love you anyway
so now here i am sitting with you at the all you can eat buffet
you got your hand resting gently on my knee and i'm pretending that i've found me
an unconditional love from a stranger

at the end of the night
i said i'll drive you home
please say mexico
she said you're driving real fast
i said i'm sorry ma'am am i making you nervous
she said oh no oh no
drive faster faster faster

and hold my hand when the six card drops
hold my hand when the money runs out
just hold my hand when the six card drops
hold my hand cause the money’s run out
baby’s got blackjack.

In addition to Blackjack, check out her cover of Bruce Springsteen's I'm on Fire.

Want to know more about her? Check out this interview with Swati and this one as well.

Swati - Blackjack : Small Gods

Swati - I'm On Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover) : Small Gods

Visit Swati's website, her label Bluhammock Records, and become her friend on MySpace.

Speak Hindu? Head over to eMusic recorded in Hindu (at least that's what I believe it is) for a couple of tracks Swati recorded pre-Small Gods.

Other interpretations of I'm On Fire

Tori Amos - I'm On Fire (live) : VH1 Crossroads

Heather Nova - I'm On Fire (live) : Wonderlust


Anonymous said...

I saw her perform at Joe's Pub while I was in NYC last month. I felt like had Jon Landau circa 1977 been in the room he'd have floated that famous, "I've seen the future..." line about Swati instead of Bruce. So, kinda cool that she covers a Bruce song too. I bought the album last week (thank you amazon for having it - Virgin didn't!!!!) and I just have to whole heartedly agree - this is a great album/artist.

Anonymous said...

Put simply, this girl has talent. I picked up her cd a few days ago and I found it very enjoyable. I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but it was able to evoke emotion in such a way that is hard to find in music today. I would recommend the album to anyone who also associates music with feeling.

Anonymous said...

Religion is Hindu; Language is Hindi with an "i."

Sean said...

Thanks for the language correction Anon.

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