The Whispertown 2000 is such a fitting name for a whole bunch of reasons. Morgan Nagler, (lead vocals, guitar) has been whispering for years before making this record. For the longest time, her songs were only heard in the most casual settings; passing the guitar in a circle in someone’s living room, barely singing above the crackle of firewood or clinking bottles.
That all changed when she met guitarist Tod Adrian Wisenbaker. Tod and his brother, Casey, grew up playing in punk, folk, and hardcore bands in California. Morgan and Tod soon began playing shows in and around Los Angeles. Eventually they added singer Vanesa Corbala, who was born in Tijuana and grew up singing traditional Mexican music, and Casey to the lineup. The addition of Casey and Vanesa allowed the band to experiment with the instrumentation. Tod, Vanesa, and Casey trade off on drums, bass, guitar, harp, and vocals. The Whispertown 2000’s vibrant live shows have scored them opening slots with Jenny Lewis, Rilo Kiley, Maria Taylor, She & Him, and Bright Eyes.
The band soon caught the eyes and ears of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, inspiring the first signing to their own Acony Records. Likewise, Swim is the first real-deal album release for The Whispertown 2000. Recorded by Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Vetiver) and mixed by Shawn Everett and Rawlings (Old Crow Medicine Show, Robyn Hitchcock), Swim is The Whispertown 2000’s contribution to that nostalgic, weird, assortment of American music.
Morgan’s classic songwriting is put in a more fractured and modern context by Tod’s avant-blues guitar, Casey’s robust bass playing (and uncanny moustache) and Vanesa’s new-traditional harmonies and creative magic. The songs on the record range from quirky folk -pop on “103” to the sweet/ sad hypnotic harmonies of “Pushing Oars” to California –country style “Lock and Key” to ballads like “Atlantis”, which features a choir made up of Nagler, Corbala, Welch, Rawlings and Jenny Lewis.
When Lewis, a longtime friend and supporter of The Whispertown 2000 was asked for a quote about the band she simply said: “Morgan Nagler is my favorite songwriter. Period.” The band seems to inspire that kind of praise among their peers. Some whispers are meant to be heard.