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Alternating influences from neo-psychedelia, noise pop, and Ennio Morricone film scores, Swell formed in San Francisco in 1989 when vocalist/guitarist David Freel and drummer Sean Kirkpatrick decided to record an album. Enlisting second guitarist John Dettman and bassist Monte Vallier, the band recorded a self-titled debut album and released it on their own Psycho Specific label in April 1990. After playing live for the first time in August — a support slot for Mazzy Star at San Francisco's I-Beam — Swell toured around California, and released a second album, Well?, by February 1992. Though Dettman left the band soon after, Freel and Kirkpatrick soldiered on, receiving an offer from Def American Records to give Well? a wide release one year after its first issue. Adding guitarist Tom Hays to replace Dettman, Swell began recording their third album. The LP, 41, was released by American in November 1993. Subsequent efforts include 1997's Too Many Days Without Thinking and 1998's For All the Beautiful People. Everybody Wants to Know appeared in spring 2001.