Seth Swirsky | Watercolor Day

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Watercolor Day

by Seth Swirsky

Sunny, eclectic Pop music from hit songwriter and member of The Red Button ("She's About to Cross My Mind") , Seth Swirsky.
Genre: Pop: Beatles-pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Watercolor Day
3:20 $0.99
2. Summer In Her Hair
3:25 $0.99
3. I'm Just Sayin' (Prelude)
0:34 $0.99
4. Matchbook Cover
2:18 $0.99
5. Song For Heather
1:46 $0.99
6. Distracted
2:32 $0.99
7. Movie Set
3:05 $0.99
8. (I Never Knew You) Harry
3:31 $0.99
9. Fading Again
2:55 $0.99
10. Living Room
1:53 $0.99
11. 4 o'clock Sun
1:16 $0.99
12. Big Mistake
1:01 $0.99
13. Sand Dollar
2:21 $0.99
14. Twenty Minutes To Myself
2:52 $0.99
15. Stay
2:03 $0.99
16. She's Doing Fine
2:06 $0.99
17. I'm Just Sayin'
2:30 $0.99
18. Amen
2:55 $0.99
19. Mashed Potato
0:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

The New Album From Hit Songwriter, And Co-Leader Of The Acclaimed The Red Button, 
Presents A Song Cycle That Conjures Up Images Of Sweet Summer Days.

Seth Swirsky just wants to make the world whistle and hum, and that’s just what he does on his new, second solo album, Watercolor Day.

Swirsky’s love of classically constructed pop songs continues from his winning solo debut, Instant Pleasure (Best Pop Album 2005, Los Angeles Music Awards) through his deliciously retro-British Invasion-minded project with Mike Ruekberg, The Red Button, whose 2007 release, She’s About to Cross My Mind, was both a critical and commercial success. “If The Red Button was around in the ‘60s,” said legendary Beatles recording engineer, Norman Smith, “I would have signed them to EMI!”

Now, just two years later, comes a wonderwork in Watercolor Day. To borrow a phrase coined by the great Nick Lowe, this is truly an album of pure pop for now people.
Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles agrees: “Watercolor Day is a sonic banquet of delicious melodies, melt-in–your-mouth harmonies, warm butterscotch guitars that jangle and shine -- made with love and reverence for the music of the golden age of pop -- guaranteed to raise a smile!”

Swirsky’s songs have their roots in the most blissful work of Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney’s Wings, ELO and the smart style of Burt Bacharach. This can be heard in tunes such as the 10cc-inspired, “Matchbook Cover,” the baroque “Song for Heather,” the sunshine-y “Summer in Her Hair” and the cheeky “Big Mistake.”

But to Paul Ellis, member of the highly acclaimed Rock band, Pop Archaeology Transmission (and an acknowledged pop music historian), Watercolor Day isn’t merely music to reminisce by -- it’s music that rivals the greatest pop records:

“I was going to say that Seth has created one of the best current retro 60's Sunshine Pop albums out there, but that's not really true. He's created one of the best albums in that style, period. Regardless of the "when" aspect. This is 21st Century Wrecking Crew level stuff. If you've heard The Red Button's "She's About to Cross My Mind" you'll know what I mean when I say he's a stunningly great pop songwriter in the "golden era of pop, ‘64 – ‘74 sense.”

The title track builds from a tuneful folkish strum until it is visited by droplets of pedal steel guitar, a crunchy, full-blown horn section and twisting guitar candy, balanced over a gallop-and-trot rhythm.

A tribute to the late Harry Nilsson, “(I Never Knew You) Harry,” is another standout single, while “She’s Doing Fine” would have fit nicely on The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds with its harmony-drenched, melodic melancholia.

Another treat is “Fading Again,” which describes Swirsky’s battle with boredom: “Too many lists to make, too many pills to take. Not enough hours to bake in the sun.”

There is even a coda at the end of the album (Who does codas these days?) in the form of the song “I’m Just Sayin’” – which beautifully interweaves four melodies from earlier songs, in effect “tying up” the album in a nice, neat bow.

Swirsky spent years as a staff songwriter for EMI, writing a number of global hits for a startling variety of artists, including Taylor Dayne (“Tell it to My Heart”), Al Green (“Love is a Beautiful Thing”), Rufus Wainwright (“Instant Pleasure”), Jane Weidlin of the Go-Gos, Tina Turner, Celine Dion and Smokey Robinson, among many others. He has garnered 32 gold and platinum records and numerous ASCAP songwriting awards.

A self-described “Manic Expressive,” Swirsky has also created three bestselling baseball books (including the wryly-titled “Every Pitcher Tells A Story”) and even has in his collection the ball that went through Bill Buckner’s legs in the 1986 World Series. Additionally, he’s completing a documentary, “Beatles Stories,” featuring interviews with people (Sir Ben Kingsley, Graham Nash, Sir George Martin, Justin Hayward and over 60 more) who share personal, inside stories about themselves and the Fab Four.
Now, as Watercolor Day is finally unveiled, rave reviews are already pouring in from those who have heard it: “This highly creative album must be listened to in headphones. Loud. A truly top-shelf record from the first track to the last,” says syndicated L.A. radio (KLSX-FM) personality, Chris Carter.

“On Watercolor Day, Seth Swirsky’s irresistibly melodic tunes are in full bloom, a treat for those of us who love classic pop music,” says Jack Oliver, the first President of the Beatles’ fabled Apple Records.

For Swirsky, Watercolor Day is a true state of mind. “Every day is a watercolor day, different feelings, different emotions all running together as greens and blues run together in a watercolor painting.”

The stories behind each of the songs, musician credits and more can be found at: More on Seth Swirsky can be found at:



to write a review

Laurie Biagini

Watercolor Day - A Masterpiece of Shimmering Brilliance
Being a fan of Seth Swirsky's music, I had been waiting with excitement and anticipation upon finding out that he had a new solo album in the works. That album "Watercolor Day" is now available and I was so impressed upon hearing it, that I simply had to write my own review of it.

I rarely write reviews these days, so an album has to be pretty special to inspire me to write about it. And to say this album is special is quite the understatement. My reviews tend to be a bit unconventional, as I write from the perspective of how the music makes me feel, how it stimulates my imagination, and the overall impressions that I get in a variety of dimensional elements.

"Watercolor Day" is an album of 19 beautiful, uplifting melodies, created with tender loving care, that shimmer with a brilliance of sparkling diamonds in the sunshine. Elements from a variety of great musical influences factor in the music, from The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Electric Light Orchestra, The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, all gleaming like sparkly facets in a crown jewel of within an overall framework of Seth's own unique sound. Produced by Seth Swirsky and Rick Gallego, this gem of an album shines with full-on brilliance.

All of the songs on the album are magnificent. To write about all of them would make this quite a long review, so I will write about a handful of selections:

The title track "watercolor day" has such an optimistic vibe, it's the perfect song to start out your day, and in fact I have been listening to it every morning on my way in to work, as it really puts me in a good frame of mind; you can't help but feel happy when listening to this beautiful song. The rhythm acoustic guitar and light airy feel have an enthusiastic feel of movement and then the chorus just rocks out with delight. The ultimate feel-good tune!

I just love the mood of "summer in her hair". It's so breezy, laid-back and if you close your eyes, you can actually feel the rays of sunshine radiating through the music. Beautiful melody, gorgeous instrumentals and impeccable vocal harmonies.. I think this may even be my favorite song on the album.

"matchbook cover" also stood out to me, such a beautiful song with a bit of an Abbey Road feel to it but at the same time sparkling with some classic Beach Boys stylings from the golden era of westcoast surf music creating a wonderful blend in the overall vibe. However the sound was all Seth's - as I heard his own signature all over it when I think back to his first album, "Instant Pleasure".. Absolute beauty.

And speaking of beauty, the most beautiful "song for heather" is a love song, with the smoothness of the strings and pureness of an acoustic guitar, with splashes of legato piano stylings quietly enhancing the overall mood of this song. Soft pure vocals with flourishes of full harmonies just make this track a brilliant little gem.

"distracted" has an early 70's contemporary flavour with a sound that reminds me of Burt Bacharach's style. I can't help but smile when hearing the lyrics. Seth's wit adds a humourous twist to this song. You'd be listening to the beautiful melody and instrumentation and then think "wait a minute.. what did he just sing?" And then grin, thinking "oh yes that's so true!"

Another favorite is "movie set", which has a vibe reminiscent of The Beatles/Paul McCartney stylings, but then there's that California west-coast sound underlying it all.. the instrumentals are gorgeous and harmonies are flawless.. and it's catchy! I could listen to this one over-and-over..

"4 o'clock sun" is just a little over 75 seconds in length, but it's absolutely gorgeous, full, dynamic, brilliant. It gives the feeling of being outside, drenched in the afternoon sun.. you can almost visualize the heatwaves radiating through the music. It's really great when you can actually experience the music like this in a multitude of dimensions.

Another quick little ditty is "big mistake", which reminds me a lot of the fun little songs that you would hear on the old Monty Python shows. The English influence is unmistakeable, and the dry humour is what makes this song a delight!

"sand dollar" is one of those songs that once you have listened to it a few times, it will stick in your mind and play over and over.. it's -that- catchy! Whimsical, something you could easily hear children singing as they're making sandcastles at the beach, but also filled with sophisticated instrumental beauty, most notably the gorgeous acoustic guitar and flutes, carried along with dreamy, smooth vocals..

I absolutely love "stay". It has a romantic, breezy, 60's feel. It's the kind of song I imagine hearing while parked at the beach as the sun is setting.. placement of this track towards the end of the album is quite appropriate if the track order is set to follow the day's events. Such a gorgeous composition, and romantic too.. a winning combination!

A feeling of melancholy is prominent in "she's doing fine", with a sound very much like something that Brian Wilson would have composed during the time of "Pet Sounds". The harmonies are beautiful, the arrangement dreamy, but with an overall sad vibe. Lyrically it almost feels like your mind is swirling around to make sense of the loss after "she" had left and you are reading the note that was left behind.

"i'm just sayin'" is very expressive. The overall feeling is light and optimistic but interspersed with some dark overtones in the chorus, each time resuming back into the optimistic feel. The interlude in the middle of the song takes a different direction of observation and reflection. It feels like a continuing journey, moving along, beautifully enhanced instrumentally, with an exquisite melody.

This album may describe a 'watercolor day'; so many observations, moods, feelings, all beautifully portrayed in a multitude of dimensions and intertwined through brilliant orchestration, flawless vocals and progressing through a series of beautiful melodies. You can listen to this record at any time of the day or night and it truly feels right. 'Watercolor Day" truly stands out, not only as a work of art but an absolute masterpiece!

~Laurie Biagini

Daniel Luna

Seth Swirsky’s ‘Watercolor Day’ is the first great power pop record of 2010
Here's a cool review I read on Goldmine Magazine, I totally agree with this guy. Check it out!

by John M. Borack

Rejoice, pop fans: the first truly great record of 2010 has arrived, in the form of Seth Swirsky’s gorgeous “Watercolor Day.” The 19-track collection of sweet, summery sounds is equal parts Beach Boys (circa ‘66/’67), Emitt Rhodes, Harry Nilsson and every great sunshine pop act from the late ’60s. Working in collaboration with the equally talented Rick Gallego (leader of the like-minded west coast pop act Cloud Eleven and co-producer here), Swirsky has fashioned a marvelous mixture of beautifully understated lead and background vocals, perfectly placed horns and strings, and a host of intoxicating melodies that swing and sway. Assisted by such California pop luminaries as percussionist Nelson Bragg and multi-instrumentalist Probyn Gregory (both from Brian Wilson’s band), Swirsky doles out track after track of gentle goodness: the childlike “Sand Dollar,” the beautifully Beach Boys-like “She’s Doing Fine” (which recalls “Caroline, No” and is fortified by some faraway-sounding trumpet swirls from Gregory) and the stunning title track, which brings together diverse sonic elements such as pedal steel guitar, sax and strings into a three-minute suite of sorts, are but a few of the treasures here. The Emitt Rhodes influence is felt on tracks such as “Matchbook Cover” and, ironically, the Harry Nilsson tribute, “(I Never Knew You) Harry,” with the jaunty chorus sounding as if it leapt straight off of Rhodes’ 1970 self-titled album. And tellingly, even the songs that are seemingly trifles – the brief, Pet Sounds-like instrumental “4 O’Clock Sun” and the jokey “Big Mistake” – still have a craftsman’s touch to them. With nary a dud in the bunch, “Watercolor Day” is sure to land on many a critic’s year-end best of 2010 list. More information can be found at