Justin Lacy and the Swimming Machine
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Justin Lacy and the Swimming Machine

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Folk Alternative





A compelling mix of cowboy rhythms, stellar whistling and exuberant dancing. - The StarNews

"Christmas music on a budget (and some for free)"

The song, “Merry Christmas, MixGrotto (Goodnight)” is a boozy, back porch sounding number with free-flowing vocals complete with elegant saxophone and lovely bells. Go get it, its free. You’ll be digging it for years to come. - The StarNews

"Justin Lacy Signing in for BLOW-YOUR-MIND Duty!"

It is a very real possibility that you will somehow find yourself in a tunnel in New Orleans tango dancing with a pack of hybrid wolves. And you like it. - Freaker USA

"Justin Lacy & The Swimming Machine’s ‘Bottom Feeder’ is anything but"

“Bottom Feeder” is a lively song soaked in atmosphere, from carnivalesque qualities to the street choir delivery by Lacy ... - The StarNews

"Justin Lacy and The Swimming Machine – An Album Review"

You feel, listening to them, that you are moving through a form of audial water: lively and cool and sort of casual, but at the same time rife with musical rip currents, little twists and inversions of the expected sounds that keep the songs tirelessly interesting. - Prose, poetry, and ponderings of ML Candelario

"A Creative Escape"

“Overgrown” frolics and bows, flits and exaggerates, whispers and screams. It’s attention-grabbing, haunting, beautiful, frightening and fully encompassing in poetic rise and fall. It comes with sweat, blood and tears pored over every note, every break, every chord, every intro, every outro and everything between. - Encore Magazine

"Album Review: "Overgrown" by Justin Lacy and The Swimming Machine"

With a massive presence and cacophonous yet focused sound, The Swimming Machine has burst upon the scene with a stellar debut that ranges from carnival-esque madness to gypsy folk punk at the drop of a dime. - The Bottom String

"Community Investment"

The sound of JLATSM is vibrant and experimental. Traditional folk and soul instruments merge with xylophone, spoons, tin cans, tambourines, buckets, shakers and floor toms, all to fulfill a layered recipe of sonic innovation. - Encore Magazine


Unnamed, Unpaved EP (2011)

Overgrown (2012)

This One's For Tina (2013) 



In Cold Blood, the first track off of gutter folk band Justin Lacy & The Swimming Machines debut full-length album, Overgrown, opens with a distant drone: a whirling susurration of angelic voices and robotic beeps, buzzes, and chirps that steadily intensifies until it breaks, leaving nothing but a lingering resonance, from which a trio of  whistle (Adam Powell), cello (Chris Johns) and acoustic guitar (Lacy) arises. As the whistling climbs higher, strings, bells, electric guitar (David Easton) and a choir of singers (Sophie Amelkin, Whitney Lanier, Heather Bobeck) emerge, neatly orchestrated into a Spaghetti Western symphony, growing, then lulling down before propelling off into a bumpkin, breakneck ho-down steered by improvised fiddle (Christa Faison) and bebop trumpet (Aaron Lane), and anchored by vibrant upright bass (Jacob David Hurley), heavy drums (Keith Butler Jr.) and raucous saxophone riffs (AJ Reynolds).

In 2012, Lacy and his revolving troop of talented Wilmington, N.C. musicians set out to capture the distinct over-the-top and organic sound conjured up at numerous shows performed since their 2010 inception, infusing minimal and folky moments with symphonic orchestration to create a theatrical and seamless 13-track narrative that, according to Grant Golden of The Bottom String and WKNC 88.1 FM Raleigh, "takes the listener on an aural journey that boats nightmarishly dark overtones juxtaposed with bright brass lines and dance-invoking swing."

"The Swimming Machine can simultaneously invigorate the listener with their energy that seems to pour from the speakers and captivate them with their seamlessly woven layers of fuzzed out guitar, upright bass, brass, and woodwind," Golden writes. "Tracks like Cellophane are perfect representations of this feat, this song is bursting with life and bouncing melodies that perfectly counteract the abrasive grit of Lacy's vocals."

In 2013, JLATSM released an EP of seasonal music titled "This One's For Tina."  The life-session EP features the Swimming Machine's current lineup - Lacy, Lane, Butler, Reynolds, Faison, Lanier, guitarist Michael Buckley and bassist Sam Candio - as well as Wilmington singer/songwriter/pianist Dylan Linehan.  In 2014, JLATSM is touring regionally, scoring short films, and gathering new material for upcoming releases.  

Band Members