Packing fun vibes together with a wistful ’80s sound, Mint Dolphin is a fresh entry to the Santa Barbara music scene, having just started in 2020. The one-man band of Eric Swank, Mint Dolphin pays tribute to the great names of that decade, boasting two original releases on the major streaming platforms with occasional airplay on KJEE 92.9 FM.
Swank moved to town from his former home in Del Mar to help his boss open a now-closed clothing boutique in Montecito’s Upper Village. “I was in a band based out of L.A. called Echo Park Social Club,” said Swank. “We broke up, as bands tend to do.” He decided to claim Santa Barbara as his new home and dove back into music-making.
Mint Dolphin’s two singles thus far are “High Tide,” which has aired on KJEE, and “Social Distance Dance.” Of the latter, a pandemic-themed song, Swank was inspired by the hit “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats. “I like to take it back to a time period when things were new and exciting, and to share the vibe of those times with people now,” explained Swank, who enjoys metamorphosing ’80s music and performing for young adults who may not be familiar with the era’s hits.
With lyrics singing, “What do you look like / under that mask / Your eyes are infectious / Still I walk right past,” “Social Distance Dance” is a flirtatious single and uplifts the listener during a serious time. The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing artists to create unifying tracks, and musicians like Swank are wasting no time in contributing music that will define the era. Offering realistic lyrics “Give me room to move / Give me room to breathe” paired with alternative pop chords, “Social Distance Dance” makes for an interesting anthem.
You can listen to Mint Dolphin’s “Social Distance Dance” and “High Tide” on all major streaming platforms and occasionally catch his singles on KJEE 92.9 FM.
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