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American Swim Lesson came about in early 2010, in the upstate New York town of Saratoga Springs. It consists of Steven Kemner and Jay Ahl, who originally met a few years prior. The two, separated by 20 years of life, influences and experiences came together to informally record a few pieces of music. There was no formal goal to be a band, perform, or write albums, just a couple of guys looking to express themselves together in musical art as a manifestation of what the Father places on their hearts individually. It has allowed Steven to challenge himself musically, both as a player and as a designer of song, through engineering experimentation, production, song arrangement and a continued openness to move beyond boundaries. Jay’s heart lies in translating the musical inspiration given into melody and lyric, allowing songs to flow into contemplation and a Spirit of Worship.
The process for this duo has continued and grown, writing and recording separately and together, in basements, attics and apartments. The EP Lovers and Dreamers was released at the beginning of the summer in 2011, marking a journey that started in Steven’s apartment a year before with one song idea. The next handful of songs was released on the EP Transform Me in August. ASL was already writing and recording songs to be featured on their third effort by the end of summer, due out in early 2012. Though performing live has been discussed, it is not an ASL priority. There are plans being developed, however, for ASL to do live video recordings in an effort to capture the mood of each EP.
For American Swim Lesson, the true art of song is drawing one near to Jesus, in contemplation, meditation, praise and surrender. ASL views their hearts, expressed through song, as this instrument. This is how the band is purposed. Like many artists in love with the Savior Jesus, this project is simply an outward demonstration of two guy’s inward transformations.