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1 or 2 — Episode 31: Flower Shopping's Ross Swinson

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Tip jar for Ross Swinson

The heady, daunting, existential thoughts that invade when we're isolated and alone — for many of us, these have been a hallmark of this coronavirus-stilted year, as we sit at home, exhausting our typical distractions.

Ross Swinson turns such internal narration into poignant songs, careening and crescendoing to roots-tinged, Built to Spill-esque indie rock with his band Flower Shopping (impressively so on this year's "Most Improved" LP), as he catalogs the musings and doubts of a millennial prone to thinking too much. And so it is again with "What's on Your Mind," the new tune he performs in simple acoustic fashion on a wet and overcast fall day at Blythewood's Doko Meadows Amphitheater.

Dialing back his impressive guitar chops in favor of understated but expressive strums, he reckons with never truly knowing what another person is thinking, even as he affirms his determination to make the relationship work — "I know I'll be alright / In the future / It's all in my mind / I'll think it over," he sings, spinning his cognitive wheels.

For those of us who have been more closely habitating with roommates and family, spouses and partners, it could hardly be more timely, as we've had plenty of time to wonder what's going on in their heads.

The "1 or 2" socially distanced performance series was started to connect Columbians with local artists during COVID-19, and to give those artists a chance to get a paycheck when such opportunities have become more rare. Free Times remains grateful to our partners in this endeavor — One Columbia, Richland Library and SceneSC — for helping us keep it going.

To check out more 1 or 2 videos, all of which are freely accessible without an online subscription, head to LAWRENCE


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