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Swear and Shake push indie folk into NYC's rock clubs

photo (4) Swear and Shake played New York's DROM on Oct. 10.

Folk-leaning tunes are definitely a rarity in a rock-laden local New York music scene. For an indie folk band without label ties to stick around the city playing local haunts, develop a following and begin to catch national breaks is something not to be overlooked.

This year brought their biggest opportunities yet, supporting alt rock/funk act G. Love and Special Sauce on a month-and-a-half-long tour and securing festival slots at New York’s Governors Ball and Mountain Jam in June.

Locally Amped caught Swear and Shake at DROM, a swanky Lower East Side club, three years after vocalists Kari Spieler and Adam McHeffey met in a SUNY Purchase bedroom in the waning months of their college career. Since, they have played countless stages across the country and in New York, including Bowery Ballroom and Knitting Factory.

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Their first show since recording sessions over the summer for the follow-up to 2011’s “Maple Ridge” was an intimate affair, complete with lots of bantering and tales of what the band had been up to this past summer. They played a combination of tracks from their debut as well as their upcoming album to a small crowd of devoted followers.

Their sing-songy, melodic cuts call to mind the sort of folk rock that brought The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons commercial success. Weighing in on the resurgence of this style, McHeffey says that he’s “not sure why it’s happening the way it did. But there’s definitely a rediscovery of that style of writing.”

They’re the sort of band that can whip out a banjo without missing a beat. A quick chat revealed that they’re up for trying anything. “We’re all excited to get out on the road again. We’re looking forward to another Dungeons & Dragons campaign. We decided (at the beginning of touring) that we were going to play it on tour, and we’ve played three campaigns,” says Spieler.

There's a spectrum of local band "tiers," ranging from bar bands to those on the verge of hitting the national stage. After a headlining performance, a post-show hang with the band and a glance into their devoted fan base, it’s clear that Swear and Shake in the latter category.

Watch a video for their recent single "Brother" below. Swear and Shake play Boston on Friday night at Church.

This column is part of a Metro Boston and New York music feature called Locally Amped. Follow us on Twitter @LocallyAmped and on Facebook at Locally Amped.

 
 
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