Organic, honest, real, and unafraid of spilling their guts in their music
Swearingen and Kelli remind us that timeless songs and melody can still be written in a generation where what is popular is copied and repeated over and over. Organic, honest, real, and unafraid of spilling their guts in their music, the Florida-based husband-and-wife twosome of AJ Swearingen and Jayne Kelli (aka Swearingen and Kelli) challenge the listener to explore life’s hard questions. They’re not your normal, run-of-the-mill love songs.
Their sophomore album, The Marrying Kind (out July 2017), is replete with full-throttle emotion and steeped in the sounds of Americana and country-folk–their music is layered with lap-steel guitar, rich harmonies, and character voices that are a modern echo of the singer-songwriters of the ’60s and ’70s. Their songs spring from a connected, closely shared life. Swearingen and Kelli trade off lead vocals, showcasing the strengths of both members. Acoustic finger-style mastery and intricate two-part harmony is the backbone of the duo’s sound: Swearingen and Kelli have re-purposed the simple love song, cleverly arranged with clear, emotional honesty.
This partnership has led to some extraordinary things over the past few years; including writing and producing their own symphonic pop shows of music from the writers that inspired them from the ’70s – Cat Stevens, Gordon Lightfoot, Carole King, James Taylor, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and more – with performances alongside orchestras in Edmonton, Dayton, and Cleveland. Their song “You’re Not Here With Me” (from their debut album) was recorded by folk icon, Tom Rush and is available on his album What I Know.
And yes, for the record, these two partners in life and in music believe they are soulmates.