PREMIERE: Baggage (ex-the Swellers) gets moody and melodic in “Twenty-Something”

photo: Jack Schmier

You may recognize Jonathan Diener as the drummer for the Swellers, the Michigan pop-punk band that toured the world, released music through notable labels like Fueled By Ramen and No Sleep Records and brought their 13-year career to a close earlier this year. Since the conclusion of that band, Diener has been busy drumming for post-punk act Braidedveins, but that’s not all: He’s also stepped out from behind the drumset, strapped on a guitar and put himself center stage for the first time in his music career to front the band Baggage. The quartet’s sound on their debut EP, Cheaper Than Therapy, is a bit moodier than the Swellers but just as melodic; their new song, “Twenty-Something,” channels Michigan legends Small Brown Bike as well as their more recent descendants in Polar Bear Club. Diener explains:

“‘Twenty-Something’ is a song about getting older and having to deal with some very heavy issues. This subject in particular is about my parents struggling to tell my brother and I if something bad has happened to them or our family. Cancer, heart attacks and all of the painful things we have to deal with. You start to realize even though they’re your parents, they’re more like us than we thought. We’re all vulnerable.”

Baggage’s Cheaper Than Therapy EP will be released December 18 as a pay-what-you-want download via their Bandcamp page. All donations will go to a friend of the band whose house was badly damaged in a fire.

Expect more live shows from Baggage throughout 2016.