Swoon 23 were a shoegazer band based in Portland, Oregon in the late 1990s.
Along with fellow Portlanders The Dandy Warhols, King Black Acid and Sugarboom, Swoon 23 helped define the lush, British-influenced sound that gained prominence in the Portland music scene in the aftermath of the grunge movement.
Rejecting the aggressive riffing and macho swagger that characterized much of Northwest music in the early '90s, Swoon 23 embraced a mellower, psychedelic sound, one which owed more to My Bloody Valentine and Galaxie 500.
Swoon 23's sound was a moody wash of fuzz and reverb, with layered guitars and occasional droning keyboards forming the backdrop for lead vocalist Megan Pickerel's ethereal soprano. This approach placed them solidly in the shoegazer camp, drawing comparisons to bands like Slowdive, Mojave 3, and early Lush.
Swoon 23 released two full-length CDs on Tim/Kerr Records: 1995's Famous Swan Song, a somewhat underproduced effort that incorporated some light, lo-fi elements, and the darker, more mature The Legendary Ether Pony, released in 1997. The group disbanded in 1999.
After Swoon 23 disbanded, Michael "Spike" Keating formed Magic Fingers with Eric Hedford (original drummer for The Dandy Warhols) and Matt Hollywood (who had recently left The Brian Jonestown Massacre). Keating is currently a touring guitarist for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Megan Pickerel is currently in the dream pop band Hazelwood Motel.
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