• Noise Art Intervew


    SWANS: THE RIVER RUNS DEEP by Jennifer Dohn | Aug 24, 2016Interview with Michael Gira Swans are looking to see where the river takes them. This year’s LP release, The Glowing Man, was the third and final epoch of an ever-evolving, coincidental trilogy summoning cathartic revelations: visions of illuminated brutalities felt from enigmatic vibrations; elevations in instrumentation between worlds above, and worlds below. It’s sonically pummeling and soothing, like bitter medicine. This manifestation of Swans—at the moment Norman Westberg, Kristof Hahn, Phil Puleo, Christopher Pravdica, Thor Harris and Michael Gira—invokes images of the languid finger of man trapped in his corporeal self, lifting up and over to a god eager for connection. Swans’ main conduit, M. Gira, has written: “I chose the five people with whom to work that I believe would most ably provide a sense of surprise, and even uncertainty, while simultaneously embodying the strength and confidence to ride the river of intention that flows from the heart of the sound wherever it would lead us—and what’s the intention? LOVE.” [1] Where does this river flow? Gira doesn’t know where it will go, and isn’t worried about it, and that’s part of the point. On a Friday morning,......

  • SF Examiner Interview


    Michael Gira takes current Swans on road one last timeBy Tom LanhamMichael Gira has some good news and some bad news for fans of his dark art-rock outfit Swans. The band has a moody new album, “The Glowing Man,” with thoughtful processionals like the 12-minute “Cloud of Forgetting,” a 25-minute companion piece “Cloud of Unknowing” and “When Will I Return?,” a grim real-life survival tale sung by his wife, Jennifer Gira, who experienced said incident (“She doesn’t like me even discussing it,” he says). Yet the longtime lineup that played on the record will be disbanding after its current tour. “But Swans will continue,” he promises. “With a revolving group of musicians that will probably include some of these players — just not all at once.” You can’t talk about “Return.” But who — or what — is the 20-minute track “Frankie M” about? That’s another person I know. He’s an incredibly intelligent and gifted person who is also a victim of his own weaknesses. So I wrote that song as a little prayer for him. You seem to reference internet culture. Time magazine just ran a cover story on its duality — how it can provide helpful facts when......

  • Son of Marketing Glowing Man Review


    SWANS – “THE GLOWING MAN” LUIGI ZAMPIAUGUST 31, 2016“In 2009 when I made the decision to restart my musical group, Swans, I had no idea where it would lead. I knew that if I took the road of mining the past or revisiting the catalog, that it would be fruitless and stultifying. After much thought about how to make this an adventure that would instead led the music forward into unexpected terrain, I chose the five people with whom to work that I believed would most ably provide a sense of surprise, and even uncertainty, while simultaneously embodying the strength and confidence to ride the river of intention that flows from the heart of the sound wherever it would lead us – and what’s the intention? LOVE! And so finally this LOVE has now led us, with the release of the new and final recording from this configuration of Swans, The Glowing Man.” So, the circle is closing, for another time. The musical life of Michael Gira and his Swans (mainly his creature) has always been characterized by a sort of circularity, in which every sign has been taken as a first step to create music, a new experience for......

  • The CD Critic The Glowing Man Review


    The Glowing Man – SwansWhen Swans reformed in 2010 with the release of ‘My Father Will Guide Me up A Rope To The Sky’, people perhaps may not have predicted that the band would ultimately start releasing some of the most defining albums of their career. Having released two phenomenal double-albums ‘The Seer’ and ‘To Be Kind’, Swans return with their latest tour-de-force, ‘The Glowing Man’. The new album follows on much from what its predecessors established, offering gargantuan slabs of experimental post-rock that are as cryptic and enigmatic as ever. Once again, this is another challenging album experience that certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted, and one that is rather difficult to really put into words. ‘The Glowing Man’ continues much in the same vein as both ‘The Seer’ and ‘To Be Kind’, with each musician pushing along through noisy experimental tracks where everything is unrelenting yet brilliant. It’s in the uncompromising style that only Swans seem to have that we find what makes the music great. This is truly a head-space only they can create for us, with the result being something confusing yet powerful. Much of the album feels like a true companion piece to its predecessor ‘To......

  • Tribune India Glowing Man Review


    Swans — The Glowing Man (Young God)    A colossal album for sure The Glowing Man is to be the concluding release from Swans in their current line-up. Since restructuring the band in 2010, Michael Gira has led them through a series of brilliant musical explorations, each of which has evolved their sound. Clocking in at nearly two hours, the album is packed with impressions, textures, and thoughts. The heavier grooves of the previous albums seem to have gone, leaving almost ambient washes of sound that wash over you. Opening pair Cloud of Forgetting and Cloud of Unknowing are both brilliant reminders of Swans’ unmatched splendour. The former showcases a luxurious display of sounds and Michael Gira’s tormented screams, whereas the latter takes flight after a nerve-breaking assemble of screeching guitars. The penultimate title track is the final version of a song that Swans have been amending and refining since 2011, a song that originally manifested itself as the title track of The Seer and later as Bring the Sun / Toussaint L’Ouverture on To Be Kind. The World Looks Red/The World Looks Black opens with a quiet piano and finally hurdles full-throttle into an absolute roller-coaster of Thor Harris’s drums......