Electro Swing, Anyone?

AI-generated image of vintage swing-dancing robots

Electro swing, or swing house, is an electronic dance music genre that combines the influence of vintage or modern swing and jazz mixed with house and hip hop. Successful examples of the genre create a modern and dance-floor focused sound that is more readily accessible to the modern ear, but that also retains the energetic excitement of live brass and early swing recordings. Electro swing groups typically include singers, musicians playing traditional jazz instruments (e.g. trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone) and at least one DJ.

It’s been kind of a stressful few weeks, for reasons that we don’t need to discuss at this point, and blogging motivation has been, shall we say, lacking. But I feel the need to put something out there, even if it’s a bit of a phone-it-in fluff piece. So, here we are.

Up until recently, I had not heard of the musical genre called electro swing, but I’ve come to enjoy the up-tempo arrangements, and especially when combined with some excellent visuals via YouTube. There’s some really creative work being put out there, and I’d like to share some of it with you.

Elle & The Pocket Belles are terrific ambassadors for electro swing, and they’ve collaborated with some equally gifted videographers to showcase their music. They combine the retro vibe of, say, The Andrews Sisters with some more modern and edgy — but still catchy — arrangements.

Here’s an intro to their music…and they don’t even appear in the video, instead putting center stage a variety of swing dancers from around the world.

Feel free to dance along…

The ladies finally appear in the next video, which is one that I probably should have saved for a Halloween-themed post. The production values are exquisite, courtesy of a UK-based group known as the Original Puppeteers.

A cautionary tale about card sharks. Or something.

Cissie Redgwick is another performer in this genre (as the preceding link informs, “Cissie” is the musical alter-ego for Rosie Doonan; as far as I can tell, Cissie is no longer musically active, unlike Rosie).

Not to be confused with the ever-popular “Gimme Dat Ding”

The Swingrowers are an Italy-based group, self-described as a vintage-influenced pop band. The vintage description definitely applies to the next video.

Do they make speakeasies like this anymore?

Here’s another video in which the singers don’t appear — unless it’s their feet that are featured.

There’s some literal toe-tapping afoot…

Thanks for hanging with me for a while. Here’s one final video for your perusal.

Megan McConnell (not to be confused with the college basketball star) is an Irish lass now based in London who specializes in “vintage” musical arrangements. The following video is a stellar example.

This may or may not qualify as electro swing, but let’s assume the genre is broad enough to include hits from the Eighties (Sweet Dreams & Tainted Love) reworked in the style of a Thirties classic (Sing Sing Sing)…if for no other reason than the clarinet solo that starts at the 1:40 mark.

Parting Shot: Wherein we study the importance of active listening

Meme: Ducks that go quick