Influenced by English shoegaze scene and bands like My Bloody Valentine, Swirlies formed in the early 90s and started releasing what they described as “sneakyflute music”. Known equally for ear-splitting volume of their live shows and their bad behavior, the band went numerous line-up changes and reincarnations and they still release records/tour to this day, albeit they current sound have little to do with its earlier version, probably due to the fact that none of the original line-up members are present.
The original line-up included Damon Tutunjian, Seana Carmody, Andy Bernick, and Ben Drucker and their debut performance was 1991 show at Alcove in Allston, MA. They released a number of singles throughout 1991 on labels such as Slumberland, Pop Narcotic and Cinderblock, before signing with Taang! in 1992.
Much of their 7″ material was collected on “What To Do About Them” EP (which also included some new tracks), as well as their first full-length – “Blonder Tongue Audio Baton”. By 1993, bassist Andy Bernick left the band and Morgan Andrew replaced him. During that year, the band also made a video for their song “Bell” and finished their first US tour. Eventually, Bernick rejoined the band and, thus, and for a while Swirlies became one of the unique bands to have two bass players at once in the line-up, but soon Andrew left the band.
More line-up changes followed – guitarist Seana Carmody left to form Syrup USA in ’94 and was replaced by Christina Files, while Anthony Bernick was replaced by Gavin McCarthy (Karate), but McCarthy also left and the band turned into a trio and for a while played as an electronic band, before actually drummer Adam Pierce (Mice Parade, Dylan Group) joined the band. Throughout all the changes, they recorded “They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days In The Glittering World Of The Salons” LP.
Files left the band in ’97 and by that time the band also released their last record for Taang! – “Strictly East Coast Sneaky Flute Music” album, which included remixes of material from “Salons…”, as well as some new tracks. More new material and new line-up changes followed, as the band progressed into new millennium – at various points they were joined by members of Lilys, Candycane, Coptic Light and other bands.
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