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Every Last Sunday at White Eagle

Joel Medina Swensen

Songwriter | Folk Singer | Guitarist


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Joel Medina Swensen

Songwriter | Folk Singer | Guitarist

Joel Medina Swensen

Songwriter | Folk Singer | Guitarist

Had a wonderful time on Portland Notes with Kelly M Jones!


“I like the way words sound…” He uses words to paint a scene or a picture for the listener. The intent is not literal, but Swensen’s songs come from a place of deep emotion and allow his audience to get lost in the entire experience rather than a particular phrase or poetic structure. Using descriptive visuals and referencing specific people in his life, he invites us to feel, rather than listen to the music.

Swensen states that he is most often connected to his writing by the heaviness of darkness, pain, and empathy. He stands out as an artist because his music reflects not only his feelings, but the needs, challenges and fears of the people in his life. We were honored to have him play live in the Portland Notes Studio, sharing the stories of the friends who inspire him. Listening to him speak, we can see that Swensen’s tone is brightening.

From a song that discusses death and hot anger to a tune called “Moonbeam Kitties”, Joel Swensen is exploring his responsibility as an artist. Understanding that ,in this current climate, we might need encouragement, he has been carefully considering his live show song selections to be on the lighter side. Swensen is not necessarily feeling more positive about the world – he is just feeling like he needs to identify and propose some alternatives to simply giving up.

Read more here

MY ALBUM "An Unremarkable Pair of Lungs" IS OUT NOW!!!"

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Joel Medina Swensen is a Portland, Oregon based songwriter who creates introspective pieces that dive deep into subjects of exhaustion, anxiety and pain with a lulling elegance. His newest album ‘An Unremarkable Pair of Lungs’ is a collection that was put to tape in 2009 but took seven years to reveal when Joel was diagnosed with cancer.

As if he dog eared the best pages in the books of Nick Drake, Jose Gonzalez and Sufjan Stevens, this ten song collection of mostly finger-style guitar songs leaves a profound impact without the help of modern recording techniques. It’s like an album made in a bedroom by a person who’s  known the language of music all their life.

Now as a healthy survivor, Joel is ready to release ‘Lungs’ under Fresh YO! Label and start picking up where he left off so many years ago with the kind of touring and writing many people take for granted.

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Past Shows

White Eagle, Moday March 27th. Free!

WithThe Global Folk Club feat. Lucas Beispeil and Biblithek

Jade Lounge , Friday March 31st. Free!

With Will St. John and Kisha Douer and Biblithek

White Eagle, November 30th 8pm. $5

With Indira Valey and Biblithek

Lauralthirst, October 27th 8pm. $7.

With The Jack Maybe Project and Charlie Moses

White Eagle Hotel, September 24th 8pm. $8.

Matthew Fountain, and Stubborn Lovers

Loon, October 1st 8pm. $7.

With Anna Hoone and Jonny Ampersand

Alberta Street Pub, November 18th 6pm. $5.

With Noah Kite


Stage Specs

I need 1 microphone on a boom, and 1 DI box. I prefer to have a bit of reverb on my vocals but not the guitar.