“Robyn Hitchcock and Wilco’s Patrick Sansone guest on this nifty collection of Dylan covers, including a quick-on-the-draw ‘I Contain Multitudes’.”
“There’s a Byrdsian chime here, a Carnaby Street lilt there, and pedal steel swoons bolstering Emma’s seemingly effortless vocals. Swift, like Dylan himself, contains multitudes.”
Jody Denberg, KUTX Austin
“An Emma Swift performance can bring you to the edge of tears, because her voice is both heartbreaking and heartbroken all at once. It takes a lot of resilience to be so vulnerable. She brings this strength and beauty to her upcoming album “Blonde On The Tracks,” a collection of her interpretations of Bob Dylan songs.”
Gina Frary Bacon, WFMU New York
Singer-songwriter Emma Swift has announced the release of her latest single, ‘Queen Jane Approximately’ on 1 July via Tiny Ghost Records. The song is taken from her upcoming album, Blonde On The Tracks which will be released on the 14th of August and consists of eight of her favourite songs from the legendary singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan. The album features British cult figure Robyn Hitchcock (The Soft Boys) on guitar and Patrick Sansone (Wilco) as the producer. Swift is well recognised in her field in her home country as an ARIA nominated Australian songwriter and having opened for the likes of Ryan Adams. The singer has also toured alongside Robyn Hitchcock for five years, playing shows all over the world. Emma Swift has been featured by several big publications, including NME, UNCUT Magazine, Brooklyn Vegan, Rolling Stone Australia and Nashville Scene amongst others. She has received radio play from Clive Anderson’s BBC RadIo 4: Loose Ends and is also a radio broadcaster in her own right, previously hosting Americana music show In the Pines on FBi Radio and Revelator on Double J at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Blonde On The Tracks will be released on both black and orange vinyl, CD, and digital download via Bandcamp.
Born in Sydney, Emma Swift has been living in Nashville TN for seven years and prior to COVID-19 shutting down touring, she spent much of the past decade on tour with her partner, Robyn Hitchcock. The pair share a passion for 60s and 70s music, as well as surrealist art and poetry. Inspired by Joan Baez, Sinead O’Connor, Marianne Faithfull, Cat Power, Swift feels there is an art to performing another musician’s songs.
“Interpreting other people’s songs is how I learned to sing, and I’ve always enjoyed hearing Dylan’s songs from a female perspective,” says Swift. “There’s an art to interpretation, and those women are masters. In a way, I’m as indebted to them as I am to Bob Dylan.”
When seeking inspiration for her own work, Emma Swift turns to the variegated likes of Sandy Denny, Marianne Faithfull, Nick Cave, Dusty Springfield, The Sundays, The Lemonheads and Lucinda Williams. However, as she places her own unique spin on Dylan’s songs, Swift’s own sound draws closer to the likes of Angel Olsen and Phoebe Bridgers.
Opening the album with ‘Queen Jane Approximately’, Emma Swift brings a delicate vulnerability to a much-loved song from the Dylan canon. Her voice is tender, confessional and immediate, as close as a whisper in your ear and almost as sweet.
“No one does Bob Dylan better than Bob Dylan,” says Swift. “But this album is not about eclipsing a master. To me, Blonde on the Tracks is more like a sonic love letter, a celebration of words and music and poetry. To all that is wonderful about songwriting.”
Blonde on the Tracks album tracklIst
- Queen Jane Approximately
- I Contain Multitudes
- One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)
- Simple Twist of Fate
- Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
- The Man In Me
- Going Going Gone
- You’re A Big Girl Now