“I wanted to make music people could dance to,” says Graham, “I wanted every song to have at least one part where everybody gets to sing. I wanted it to be fun, but uh, I never imagined it would be this fun.”
Graham’s talk-singing and screams evoke post-punk a la Elvis Costello, Billy Idol and The Modern Lovers. The band’s singable arrangements and whimsical delivery pledge allegiance to The Presidents of the United States of America. Concept-centric songs and guitarless instrumentation has even elicited comparisons to Houston’s new wave darlings, The Judys.
The least conventional element of the band’s sound is Ned Gayle’s over-driven bass guitar. Gayle often pulls double duty, alternating between driving basslines and licks usually reserved for a lead guitarist.
Matt Jensen of Divide and Conquer calls Swimwear Department "...a refreshingly frivolous and fun brand of garage/surf rock...proof that you can take subject matter that on the surface level may seem a bit silly and provide emotionally satisfying and even profound experiences."
Swimwear Department is Ned Gayle (bass), Jack Gordon (Drums), Matt Graham (vocals), and Jeremy Grisbee (keys).