feel it when your heart beats! old-school nashville soul & country come together in johnnyswim’s ‘heart beats’ ep. #soundcheck

June 26, 2013

There’s some music that just belongs on a movie soundtrack. Last year’s The Glorious Dead from The Heavy especially demanded inclusion on the score to some summer epic (and if you can listen to any doom metal without picturing the Lord of the Rings style battle that should be staged to it then you’re a better man than I…). The new EP from Johnnyswim may not have the world-ending scope of The Heavy, but the lush arrangements and giant melodies of Heart Beats are indisputably cinematic.

The married duo of Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez make the kind of nouveaux-Nashville folk that’s equally indebted to Johnny Cash and Al Green. Soulful vocals blend with country picked guitars on the fantastic title track. The vocal interplay between Amanda and Abner calls to mind the similarly cinematic husband wife duo of Nina Persson and Nathan Larson (from the Cardigans and Shudder to Think respectively, most recently performing together in A Camp). Their obvious chemistry adds a level of depth and intimacy to their songs.

From the sublime duet of “Don’t Keep Heaven Busy” to the heartbroken anthem “Annie,” Johnnyswim shows the kind of songwriting that made Nashville famous. But the standout track here is the stomp-along “Don’t Let It Get You Down.” It may not yet be coming soon to a theatre near you, but at the very least, let Heart Beats be the soundtrack to your summer.

– Words by Nathan Leigh

* Stream all the tracks at