Local Wire


Swati, a thirtysomething lesbian from Manhattan, is a powerful singer/songwriter, but her amazing guitar technique is winning her as many critical raves as her songs. Her 12-string guitar has been restrung as an 8-string with doubled B and high E strings, and the sounds she wrings out of the instrument range from calming to calamitous. She calls herself an acoustic metal guitarist, a fitting description for her unclassifiable and highly original sound. Drones, crashing chord clusters, subtle melodic accents, crystalline arpeggios, and folky picking ebb and flow to produce unexpected shifts in tone, timbre and tempo, adding drama and emotional power to her tunes. Vocally, she brings to mind a more focused Ani DiFranco, with confessional lyrics that delve deep into the darker corners of the human psyche. Her haunting tales of loneliness and alienation will tug your heartstrings, but it's her guitar playing that makes the most lasting impression.