The Dolley Pond     Sound   Lyrics

Tim Swenson Solo

The Dolley Pond

Tim Swenson, aka The Dolley Pond, was the front man for popular Southern California indie bands Vagabond Soul, Lunchbox, Drink Deep, and Candida... among others. For more than a decade, Swenson's bands shared bills with everyone from the Damned to Stiff Little Fingers to Gun Club to Killing Joke in large and small venues across the western US, playing a rootsy but eclectic mix of indie rock and edgy, punkish Americana.

After walking away from the music business in the mid-90s, with his songs and recordings tied up in a publishing relationship gone very sour, Swenson all but gave up making music for a number of years.

Only after the unexpected death of a close friend did he find himself picking up a guitar and writing again, trying to deal with the complex feelings of grief and anger.

Commandeering a little Mac laptop and a friend's USB microphone, Swenson plunged back into making music with a vengeance, recording two hundred songs in a matter of months, using just the free recording software that was on the computer and his mostly motley collection of acoustic guitars and parts of a stripped down, toy drum kit a friend rescued and gave to him.

Working fast, almost always in one take passes, Swenson would lay out the basic guitar and vocal, then add more guitars, back up vocals, and drums, recording one drum at a time in his lap -- since the drums came without hardware.

With his guitar amp out on an extended loan to a friend, Swenson ran his acoustic guitar through a fuzz pedal effect in his software. It probably shouldn't have worked... but when it's all you have at your disposal and you're churning out songs so fast that there's barely time to eat take out from SuperMex, you do what you have to do.

His unorthodox, extemporaneous approach often lends an amiably nonchalant air to much of the music and his reliance on old and mostly funky thrift store instruments -- not to mention the battered pieces of the toy drum kit -- puts an intensely personal stamp on the music -- and stands in sharp contrast to the on-the-grid, processed quality of so much of today's rock.

-- TK Major