New Music: Proud To Swim Home
by Michael Ardaiolo,
Various Artists – Proud to Swim Home / Backporch Revolution
New Orleans’ contribution to modern music is almost unfathomable at this point so far down the road of genre overlapping and style smearing. But the port city at the turn of the 20th century with its amazing barrage of cultures gave birth to jazz and blues which in turn led to the popularization of music as a business and a way of life outside the confines of classical. Sadly though, modern thought of New Orleans music seems to stretch no further than throwback, made-for-tourist novelty ragtime, marching band swing or that cheesy saxophone wail that seems to make it’s way into every muggy film noir soundtrack. The truth is that the New Orleans music scene continues to evolve in new, innovative ways that is very evident in this compilation of experimental electronica music from a burgeoning scene in the Crescent City. Somewhat the result of a sticker campaign which reads “Proud to Swim Home” conceived days after Hurricane Katrina hit that raised funds for Habitat for Humanity and the Humane Society, this album of the same name pays tribute to people who returned to the damaged city and gave their foremost effort to building it back in a soundtrack that probably is not unlike the immediate eerie sounds of post-hurricane New Orleans. From the tear-jerking ambient calm of Potpie to the sweltering, swirling audible fumes of Archipelago to the skittering poppy bounce of Buttons, Proud to Swim Home is an unconventional soundtrack for an unconventional city and the unconventional people that are giving their lives to rebuilding their broken home. And even the cheesy sax makes an appearance thanks to Chef Menteur, though, like most the city at this point, it has been heavily re-imagined (and processed). All proceeds from the sale of the compilation to benefit MusiCares.