Gabriola musician Mikey Swallow has released his debut album, ‘Fortune is the Smile.’ (Photo courtesy Mikey Swallow)

Gabriola musician Mikey Swallow has released his debut album, ‘Fortune is the Smile.’ (Photo courtesy Mikey Swallow)

Gabriola Island musician supporting conservation charities with debut album

Mikey Swallow released ‘Fortune is the Smile’ on his 40th birthday

Mikey Swallow is welcoming a new decade with a new album.

The Gabriola Island-based musician released his debut CD, Fortune is the Smile, last month on his 40th birthday, but it’s really a gift to three charities he appreciates.

All proceeds from the album will support one of three organizations: The Orangutan Project, an Australian initiative that protects orangutans and their habitats; Victoria’s Pacific Wild, which works to preserve B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest; and Shark Angels, an American group dedicated to saving sharks.

“After years of being exposed to the struggles of our planet’s creatures and habitat, particularly the ocean, I have been drawn to try in my small way to make a difference and support organizations I see that are doing an excellent job in making a positive impact on these issues,” Swallow said in an e-mail interview.

Fortune is the Smile has its origins in some recordings Swallow made back in 2017 and he said it means a lot to finally to be releasing the finished product. He said most of the recording was done last spring while he was taking a course on transcendental meditation, and that experience influenced the songs on the album.

“I think there is a general theme of trying to go within, keep things simple and try to accept the idea of impermanence and strive to be in the moment rather than focusing on the past or future,” he said.

Swallow experiments with sounds on the album, combining ambient effects with “bright, full, lots of reverb” surf guitar with repetitive hooks.

“I am primarily a drummer and backing singer so I didn’t want to put a huge focus on any instrument including the lead vocals,” he said. “I was looking for a layered atmosphere soundscape where the voice was as much an instrument as a way to convey words.”

The record was a group effort, with Swallow inviting his friends to contribute to and inspire the music. A lot of the songs emerged from jams with Vancouver percussionist Wataru Uno. Swallow also recorded with Adam Kerby and Jocelyn Hallett of Gabriola band Mad For Joy and included a song about the couple’s baby written by his friend David Caves that features a recording of the child’s heartbeat. The title track ends the album and is a collaboration with Swallow’s bandmate Alejandro Garcia, who recorded his parts in Seattle where he lives.

“I think the four songs that I like the most on the album are the four I had friends contribute to so it really made a huge difference getting that outside creativity and talent on board,” Swallow said.

Fortune is the Smile is available here.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Nanaimo singer Victoria Vaughn recently released an EP with local producer Austin Penner. (Photo courtesy Taylor Murray)
Nanaimo singer and recent VIU grad releases EP about becoming an adult

Victoria Vaughn’s ‘Growing Pains’ recorded with local producer Austin Penner

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Air Canada, Harbour Air flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Rebates through Clean B.C.’s Better Homes New Construction program are available, says the City of Nanaimo. (Vancouver Island University photo)
Energy-efficient home builds in Nanaimo eligible for up to $15K in rebates

All building permits issued on, or after, April 1, 2020 eligible, says City of Nanaimo

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
House post representative of work of Kw’umut Lelum in Nanaimo

Snuneymuxw First Nation artist Noel Brown’s carved red cedar house post unveiled Friday, April 16

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Most Read