“You’ve taken down/ So many others/ Oh but you’ll know my name when you see/ And in those ashes I’m stronger still/ You’ll learn to feel my pain/ Oh yeah you will”
These words are echoed throughout Diamonds, the debut album by the husband and wife duoJohnnyswim. The music tells of heartbreak and loss but the overall message is one of resilience and strength in the face of adversity.
Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano met in Nashville and began writing music together, which as Abner puts it, “was just a cover for making out.” Despite it just being a “cover,” Johnnyswim have released two EPs and now their full-length record.
Their music is brimming with influences from folk to blues, from soul to country and some pop thrown in for good measure. There are no walls to hold them in. They go where the muse takes them.
Diamonds was birthed through a period of tragedy and heartbreak for both Abner and Amanda, with both losing a parent in the space of a year. In spite of these tragedies or maybe because of them, a lot of the songs are filled with steely determination. From the anthemic “You and I,” a love letter to your soul mate telling them you’re in it for the long haul. To the sonically powerful “Live While We’re Young” which fills you with fearlessness and propels you forwards. The song embodies the sentiment of living life to the fullest no matter if it scares you because not doing so is a bigger tragedy: “Oh let the stages burn/ And the tears turn into scowls/ And if the glory of the past is all I ever see/ Oh still the only way you’ll find to quench these embers/ Is killin’ me”
Johnnyswim’s overall hope for the record is that others can take something from it or find a part of themselves in the songs. “I think every artist in their own way has this hope – you want people to ‘get’ it and you hope that within you, you did a good job with relating out loud and musically the feelings and the life you’re living and you hope that it can relate to somebody.”