After more than a decade spreading happiness and gratitude through music, funky talkbox legend and purveyor of musical joy Swatkins (Steve Watkins) has released his debut LP. Aptly titled Friends And Other Necessities, the self-produced ten-track offering captures the keyboardist at his best, accompanied by a wealth of collaborators including Allen Stone, Antwuan Stanley (Vulfpeck), Eric Krasno, and more.

Known in part for his role as Allen Stone’s soul-lifting keyboardist, Swatkins relocated from Portland, OR to L.A. during the pandemic, where he has continued to work with longtime collaborators Scary Pockets and other studio ringers.

“Mid-pandemic in the depths of a personal purgatory, Sam Brawner and Raquel Rodriguez at Blue Dream Studios generously offered Moorea [Masa] and I a place to live and so many good things have flowed from that,” he shared in a social media post. “Yeah, it says ‘Swatkins’ on the cover but we know it’s actually a whole-assed coalesced community of bright shiny musical creatures. Far too many heroes and champs to list…. Please enjoy this album, we made it for good friends who want to access their joy and have their most best times.”

Related: Swatkins Releases Funky New Single Featuring Jans Ingber, Turkuaz Members, & More [Listen]

Swatkins laid down the basic tracks live during one-take rhythm sessions in New Orleans with a band featuring members of Lettuce, MotetDumstaphunk, Ghost-Note, Fruition, and more. He and Brawner then orchestrated the songs together in multiple West Coast studios.

With contributions from different vocalists including Stone, Stanley, Moorea Masa, and Raquel Rodriguez, the album is diverse but cohesive, with deep funk grooves, rich, soul-stirring vocals, and impeccable production, not to mention the words of wisdom sung in Swatkins’s signature funky robot voice.

“The contents within this record are representative of my truest most best self and I think it’s really cool that music lets us access our joy and sorrow and everything in between,” Swatkins wrote. “It’s weird being *here* but I’m glad at least we’re doing it together.”

Friends And Other Necessities, the debut album from Swatkins, is available now on all streaming platforms. Listen via Deezer in the player below.

To celebrate the release, Swatkins shared music videos for the album’s funky opening track, “100 Percent”, and smooth groover “Lottery” featuring Raquel Rodriguez. He previously released videos for “More To Learn” featuring Allen Stone and Eric Krasno and “Until I Get Back” earlier this year. Check out all four videos along with the album art and credits below.

Swatkins – “100 Percent”

Swatkins & Raquel Rodriguez – “Lottery”

Swatkins – “Until I Get Back”

Swatkins & Allen Stone – “More To Learn” Featuring Eric Krasno

Click to view videos.

Swatkins – Friends And Other Necessities