Soul-pop maestro Teddy Swims comes to Orlando's Hard Rock Live this week

He's tried everything but playing Orlando

click to enlarge Teddy Swims comes to Orlando this week - Photo by Lyndsey Byrne
Photo by Lyndsey Byrne
Teddy Swims comes to Orlando this week
Teddy Swims says his goal is to be more open and vulnerable in his music and his life. He certainly was practicing what he was preaching in a recent phone interview with Orlando Weekly, as he opened up about the emotions and circumstances behind the songs on his new album, I’ve Tried Everything but Therapy (Part 1).

The album arrives after the Atlanta-area native (real name: Jaten Dimsdale) has become an artist to watch thanks to his considerable notoriety and success online, where since 2019 he has posted numerous videos of his versions of cover songs. His selections ran the gamut from R&B/soul (Mario’s “Let Me Love You”) to pop (Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You”) to rock (Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”) and country (Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One”), showcasing his supple, slightly sandy voice while racking up hundreds of millions of views along the way. By the end of 2020, he had a major label deal with Warner Records.

As he maintained his online presence, Swims began to write original material, and in rapid succession, released three EPs: Unlearning (2021), Tough Love (2022) and Sleep Is Exhausting (also 2022).

By the time he was ready to record I’ve Tried Everything but Therapy (Part 1), he had written or co-written more than 400 songs.

“You don’t always write good ones, so there are a lot of them that aren’t contenders and never will be,” Swims says. “But I think some of those also informed some of the best songs I did write.”

Swims said one song in particular, “Some Things I’ll Never Know,” with its key lines “When did your heart let me go/Guess some things I’ll never know,” set the tone for I’ve Tried Everything but Therapy.

“When it fell into my lap, it just moved me so much. I’ll never forget recording it. It took me so long to record it because I was just crying and crying as I was doing it,” Swims says. “I felt like it really healed me, and it’s a song about not getting closure. And you don’t get closure from people when they leave your life a lot of times.

“Once that song came in, I was certain that I wanted to talk about that [closure] and I wanted to discuss that as much as possible and make this album about healing and about asking for help and knowing that I’m not crazy for feeling the way I’m feeling,” he elaborates. “It’s OK to feel this way. So I think that song informed everything I wanted to say, and everything else just started falling into place right behind it.”

In a larger sense, Swims says the new album reflects his efforts to reach a healthier place mentally with his life.

“I want to be more open and honest with the people who listen to me and with myself,” he says. “I just wanted to be more vulnerable than I have been in the past because I feel like as much as I have the opportunity to do music for a living and people hear my feelings, there’s always been a difference between Teddy Swims and Jaten Dimsdale. I want to marry those two and I want to be myself and fully myself and vulnerable and kind of a glass house for people that are looking in and want to know.”

Musically, the consistently enjoyable I’ve Tried Everything but Therapy (Part 1) finds Swims growing more focused stylistically. While it still touches on several genres, the album overall leans toward classic soul with a modern sound. The songs “Goodbye’s Been Good to You,” “The Door,” “Lose Control” (a multi-genre top-five single) and “What More Can I Say” have strong grooves, a good bit of energy and highly melodic vocal lines. The other songs are ballads, a strong suit for Swims and the palpable emotion he brings to his songs.

“I think you can safely say this is a soul record, and even if it bleeds into other worlds and other genres, I think the thing you can always say about anything I do is it will be soul music, for sure,” Swims says.

With the album having been out now for a few months, Swims is incorporating the new songs into the live show on his current tour, which rolls into Orlando's Hard Rock Live this Thursday, April 4. But he’s making sure he doesn’t get ahead of his fans with the song selection.

“I don’t want to overload everybody with everything from the record,” Swims says. “But we’ll be easing in some of the stuff and we’ll be trying some new stuff and seeing how it goes and of course playing all of your favorite songs that you know already, the favorite songs that I’ve covered on You Tube. So it will be a mixture of some covers and some originals that you know and some that you’ll have a chance to listen to when the album comes out.”

Location Details

Hard Rock Live

6050 Universal Blvd., Orlando I-Drive/Universal


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