Artist of the Week: Swans
On their first incarnation, between 1982 and 1997, Swans began as one of the most aggressive and destructive sonic reactions to punk-rock in America with classics such as 1984’s Cop or 1985’s (and Kurt Cobain favorite) Raping A Slave EP, only to quickly evolve to a more somber, elegiac and sophisticated act whose transcendental music can be heard in classics such as 1987’s Children of God or 1996’s Soundtracks for the Blind.
Swans’ comeback happened with 2010’s My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky, their first studio recording in 14 years. Though the album showed a band full-steaming their unique and experimental approach to post-rock and ambient-noise-minimalism, nothing prepared the world for the sprawling beast of 2012’s The Seer, probably one of the most defying and harrowing records released in the new millennium.
To Be Kind is Swans’ thirteenth studio album and has the daunting task of following the record that Michael Gira considered the absolute culmination of all the music he’s ever made, been involved in or imagined. And one that, once again, demands repeated listens in order to reveal its full potential.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.