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Cliffie Swan Merge Seventies Pop and Nineties Grunge on 'Yes I Love You'

Stream a track from the Brooklyn duo's new album 'Memories Come True'

June 15, 2011 4:45 PM ET
Cliffie Swan Merge Seventies Pop and Nineties Grunge on 'Yes I Love You'
Oto Gillen

Click here to listen to Cliffie Swan's "Yes I Love You"

Brooklyn duo Cliffie Swan's Memories Come True finds a startling, gorgeous middle ground between the mid-Seventies smooth pop of Fleetwood Mac and Carly Simon and the dynamic, crunchy alt-rock of the Nineties. The band, who were known as Lights until last year, expertly balance sunny harmonies and stoned riffs throughout the set. On the lovely opener "Dream Chain," they alternate between easy-going rec room balladry and fuzzed-out chords, but in other tunes, like the groovy "Soft and Mean" and the grungey "California Baby," the extremes of their style mingle seamlessly. Memories Come True will hit stores on June 21st, but you can stream "Yes I Love You" today.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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