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07.04.18 Swancore - Who did it best?

Swancore - Who did it best?

A list of newer 'swancore' bands, bands that shamelessly copied Dance Gavin Dance, or took on the sound and did something new with it. Not necessarily a 'ratings' list as the title might suggest, but more of a compilation list and a place to discuss these bands for people that like them I guess? I don't know. NOTE: Not all of it is swancore by definition, I just wanted to list a bunch of bands with a swancore feel so people who like the genre can find new stuff.

Up-and-coming band, putting out an EP next month. Only released two singles so far, sounds very fun and energetic.

Pineapple Bride

Another new band, very much copying the DGD formula. They're decent and fun, but not the best on this list.

3Amarionette [US]

These guys have been around for quite some time, since 2010-ish I think. Started off as a DGD clone with Screaming Is Serious Business but eventually developed more of their own sound. They recently switched vocalists. Their old one, Quinn, was one of my favourite vocalists due to his unique voice. The new guy isn't bad, but I'm not really a fan of the direction they went in with him on their new AMVRI EP.


Formed from the ashes of Atheorem, these guys were a very promising band that released their first EP Sail West to Reach The East in 2012. It was really good, but there was definitely room for improvement, which came in 2016 with their second EP, Diaspora.


A band whose first release I had been anticipating for quite some time. Teasing with singles Lemonade and Foreverest, Dwellings went silent shortly after only to re-emerge after signing with Tragic Hero Records. A release date followed and last week Lavender Town was finally released. It's very enjoyable and, to me, easily rivals DGD's more recent material.

Color Of The Cat Tree
6From The Future

From The Future is a very joke-y band, which is something they definitely share with DGD. They don't take themselves seriously, at all. The themes, lyrics, and vocals themselves at times can be a bit ridiculous. The music is still enjoyable though.

Dad Fighting Tournament
7House Of Leaves

It's quite obvious that these guys loved DGD's Happiness era, as the songs on the Inhabitants Of The Land EP could easily be b-sides for the album. It is therefore that this band could be hit-or-miss for DGD fans as the fanbase can be quite divided when it comes to Happiness. I personally love Happiness as well as the House Of Leaves EP.

Jogan Gohan Johan

Complete with an offbrand Jonny Craig and Jon Mess, Jovian released their Lazers EP back in 2009, just after DGD burst onto the scene with DBM. It took a few years as well as releases until they reinvented themselves in the form of their last album, Wild & Fantastic, back in 2015. It's still very much DGD at its core, but less of a carbon copy.

Selfmade Renegade

Not necessarily a DGD clone, but I thought they'd fit here. Okay!Okay! sound more like a lite version of Lower Definition, which kind of ties in to swancore due to vocalist Matt Geise featuring on and performing with DGD in the past. Plus, they have the whole R&B stylings thing going on. Very cool band.

A Quiet Night In Paris

Very similar to the newer swancore bands also on this list, like AnimalJam and Cat Company. Fun, upbeat and decent, but not stellar. Released a ton of material in a very short time and recently released a new EP.

What's Good

Another band that has been around for quite some time, they recently backed Kurt Travis to play the Eternity Forever EP live. Very talented musicians that do their own thing with the swancore genre, it's a bit less derivative.

Be Brave
12Welcome To Limerick

Kind of a forgotten band that used to tour with bigger DGD related names such as A Lot Like Birds and Hail The Sun. They've really matured over the years and their most recent release is really quite good.

Away They Went
13We The Wild

This band tried and tried to blow up and when they did, they disbanded. Regardless, From The Cities We Fled is a fantastic release.

Exodus And Decay
14Cat Company

More of a carbon copy again, but there's some very good guitar work to be found here. I hope these guys come more into their own with a next release.

Sad Dance

Ex-We The Wild, these guys apparently suck at picking marketable and easy to find bandnames. A bit heavier than most of this list. Maybe closer to something along the lines of The Fall of Troy than DGD, but I figured I'd add them anyway.

Gunfighter Jesus

So far the only real Blue Swan Records band on this list, I think. Practically a Hail The Sun clone with a couple of good tracks. They also have a history of releases before getting noticed, which in my opinion are better than Taxonomy, their Blue Swan release.

Cool Coconut Head
17Happy Hour

Easily the weakest on this list for me, due to cringy lyrics, themes and their more metalcore approach to things.

Night Vibe$
18Vox Vocis

More reminiscent of First Temple era Closure in Moscow and the more proggy post hardcore acts in that vein, still a very solid band. The production on their last release is a little iffy, though.

St Lawrence
19Mannequin Mishap

A drummer and a bassist, nothing more, nothing less. One of my favourites on the list that released an EP titled Acatalepsy last year and a full length a couple years before that. A very unique take on the swancore genre.

Tea Party With my Taxidermist

Another very Happiness-era influenced band, love the atmosphere these guys create.

Raspberry Cough
21Properties of Nature

New band that released their first single about a week ago and will be releasing an EP soon, I think Dryw Owens was involved somewhere. Single sounds a bit run of the mill for swancore, but I'm still curious to see what the EP will sound like.

Sorry Excuse

UK band that was more on the alt rock side of things, but had some really clever guitar work and fantastic vocals. Sadly disbanded some time ago.

A Tricycle Journey
23Destination Dimension

Don't know a whole lot about this band other than that they're new and have been on a couple of bills with bigger swancore and non swancore bands. They've only released one song so far, but it's enough for me to keep my eye on them.

Future Cougar

Fall Out Boy + The Fall of Troy = Frontside (formerly FS)

Ground Pound The Pillars

Instrumental, sometimes CHON-esque, but definitely fitting for the list.

Aware Wolf

Very complex guitarwork, lots of buildups and instrumental sections, vocals are a bit hit-or-miss.

27Fox Vibes

Similar to Sincerely, also instrumental, albeit more The Fall of Troy tinged and more breakdown heavy. Very solid stuff though.

Baby, I Invented The Disco
28In Angles

Very Lower Definition inspired band, although very much their own beast. The vocals can be a little annoying at times (personal opinion) but everything else is quite good.

This Side Of The Fence
29V I S

Straying from swancore here for sure, but they're too good to not give them a mention and I think a lot of people that enjoy swancore would enjoy them. I guess they're more progressive rock-ish with post hardcore elements and great use of synths/keyboards.


More in the vein of Circa Survive, but again it has enough of the elements that other bands here have. Their upcoming release seems to stray from what they've done, moving into heavier territory from what I've heard though.

31Vela Ceras

These guys have moved into more psychedelic territory, but they were a post hardcore band once, and a very good one, too.

Ethereal Apparition

I think this band cycled through a couple of vocalists, just like DGD has, although it didn't have as massive an effect on their sound. Current vocalist Andy Cizek used to do a lot of DGD covers.

33The Horse I Rode

A band that had real promise, but suffered from really iffy vocals. Very Fall of Troy influenced. I think they've disbanded after their first and last release.

Elon Musk
34The Body Rampant

One of my favourite bands at the moment, they have a pretty large backcatalog and are only just starting to break through. RMPNT is one my AOTY contenders for sure. The bandmembers also wear ridiculous masks.

Small Side Effect
35The View From Here

Added because of a comment recommendation, thought it sounded pretty good and will check out more by them later. I suppose I could see them fitting the swancore bill.

Whatever Happened, Happened.

Pretty new band from what I've gathered, have an EP out and fit the swancore label. Overall I'm really impressed with this band so far.

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