Swans flock the fuck back into consciousness with their fifteenth album, Leaving Meaning, and brand new track

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Good news for all you Christians, Superman readers, fans of Dr. Who, et. al: “Resurrection” is not just for fan-fiction anymore; it’s now A TOTALLY EMPIRICAL FACT!

Following 2017’s (willful) dissolution of Swans in its then-current iteration, Michael Gira has resuscitated the band for album number fifteen. It’s called Leaving Meaning, and it’s out October 25 via Mute/Young God.

Written and produced by Gira, the album will feature contributions “from recent and former Swans” (including members of Angels of Light) as well as a “revolving cast” of guest artists like Anna and Maria von Hausswolff, Ben Frost, The Necks, Baby Dee, and a Hawk and a Hacksaw.” In fact, here’s a cute yearbook photo of everyone involved:


I know what your thinking: “OMG! This is insane! This is a miracle!! Why now?! Why here?!? Who the fuck ARE all these people?!?! I can’t read ANY of that shit!!!! Well, according to Gira:

Swans is now comprised of a revolving cast of musicians, selected for both their musical and personal character, chosen according to what I intuit best suits the atmosphere in which I’d like to see the songs I’ve written presented. In collaboration with me, the musicians, through their personality, skill and taste, contribute greatly to the arrangement of the material. They’re all people whose work I admire and whose company I personally enjoy.

Sooo, in other words: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS, plebeian! And right now, your “business” includes the following:

Head here to pre-order the album on digital, CD, or double-vinyl.

• Listen to the appropriately-titled first single “It’s Coming It’s Real” (featuring the aforementioned Anna and Maria von Hausswolff on backing vocals) down below, followed by Swans’ *ALWAYS SCINTILLATING* album artwork and the new album’s full tracklist.

Easy, peasy, Hallelujah! Boy, if “God” had the Internet 2000 years ago, everything would have been a whole lot less messy.


Leaving Meaning tracklisting:

01. Hums
02. Annaline
03. The Hanging Man
04. Amnesia – with Anna and Maria von Hausswolff on backing vocals
05. Leaving Meaning – feat.The Necks
06. Sunfucker – with Anna and Maria von Hausswolff on backing vocals
07. Cathedrals of Heaven
08. The Nub – with Baby Dee on guest vocals, also feat. The Necks
09. It’s Coming It’s Real – feat. Anna and Maria von Hausswolff on backing vocals
10. Some New Things – digital / CD only
11. What Is This
12. My Phantom Limb

30 Essential Noise Rock Tracks

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Grind. Skronk. Pigfuck. Seemingly every word associated with noise rock sounds incredibly unflattering out of context, and even in context doesn’t fare much better. Before noise rock had a name, rock critics such as Lester Bangs and Robert Christgau came up with their own suitably unpleasant ways of describing the tortured sounds of music oozing … More »

Michael Gira of Swans’ announces west coast and Brooklyn solo concerts, shares documentary film trailer

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When Swans’ live album Swans is Dead emerged, we took the band at its word. The twelve years that passed before the band’s new active period were cold ones indeed; but since returning with My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky, the band (and leader Michael Gira in particular) have been back at it.

First, a fresh Swans album is on the way, with recording reportedly getting underway in March 2019. Before that, though, Gira’s upcoming September-October tour in select American cities is a great chance to get a sneak peek of these songs. Plus, you’ll get to hear Swans guitarist Norman Westberg as the supporting act.

After grabbing a drink and wiping a bit of the sweat from your stetson hat brim, you can go check out the merch table for one of few remaining copies of Gira’s short story collection “The Egg,” as well as the limited edition double vinyl collection I Am Not This.

Finally, if you live too far away from the performances, Marco Porsia will be releasing a documentary on Swans’ final Brooklyn shows by the end of the year. Take a gander at the trailer below:

Michael Gira live (all shows featuring opening support by Swans guitarist Norman Westberg):

09.27.18 Los Angeles, CA – Regent Theatre (Fully Seated) (with Carla Bozulich)
09.29.18 Berkeley, CA – The UC Theatre (Partially Seated)
10.04.18 Portland, OR – The Old Church Concert Hall (Fully Seated)
10.05.18 Seattle, WA – Columbia City Theater (Partially Seated)
10.25.18 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw (Fully Seated)

Swans album Soundtracks for the Blind to get served up on first-ever hot slice of vinyl, CD reissue with expected condiments

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Swans has endured a few iterations over the course of its decades-long existence, with each seemingly exhibiting a darker shade of grey — and their most recent release The Glowing Man was emphasized by front-man Michael Gira as signaling a precursor to a third (major) iteration that will purportedly feature a “revolving cast of collaborators.” In other words, the relatively static lineup that was inaugurated in 2010 has been dissolved, and during such times of temporary artistic instability, the impulse toward oeuvre reflection seems hard to avoid. And today, it’s the the 1996 Swans album Soundtracks for the Blind that gets the attention of our backward-looking eyes.

Soundtracks was the last album before a new iteration as well; and as such, it features, in addition to Gira, the long lost (but not forgotten) Jarboe, Clint Steele, Norman Westberg, Algis Kizys, Bill Rieflin, Christoph Hahn, and Larry Lame, among others. The album is getting its first vinyl reissue on July 20 courtesy of Gira’s Young God Records, and it’ll come in the form of a box set containing four LPs, a poster, an insert, and a download card. This lavish box will be limited to 4000 copies, though; and once those are exhausted, a gatefold LP will come out to satisfy any stragglers.

Additionally, because some people still lurve CDs, the aforementioned box set is being accompanied by a CD reissue, which’ll come with the 1996 EP Die Tür Ist Zu (a German language version of some of the songs from Soundtracks that, coincidentally, was just released for the first time on vinyl in the US for Record Store Day 2018) as a bonus disc.

Swans tends to traffic in epics, and Soundtracks is — uh, duh — no exception. Pre-order the new iterations of the album here and reacquaint yourself with the nature of that particular bygone era of Swans epic-ness down below.


Soundtracks for the Blind tracklisting:

Disc One (Silver)

01. Red Velvet Corridor
02. I Was A Prisoner In Your Skul
03. Helpless Child
04. Live Through Me
05. Yum-Yab Killers
06. The Beautiful Days
07. Volcano
08. Mellothumb
09. All Lined Up
10. Surrogate 2
11. How They Suffer
12. Animus

Disc Two (Copper)

01. Red Velvet Wound
02. The Sound
03. Her Mouth Is Filled With Honey
04. Blood Section
05. Hypogirl
06. Minus Something
07. Empathy
08. I Love You This Much
09. YRP
10. Fan’s Lament
11. Secret Friends
12. The Final Sacrifice
13. YRP 2
14. Surrogate Drone