Angels of Light at the Launchpad, New Mexico | PreviewNew Mother represents a radical shift into new musical territory... Angels of Light with Stars of the Lid Orchestra
Thursday, June 17; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): Two words: Michael Gira. One word: Swans. Just over a year ago, Michael Gira disbanded Swans, much to the dismay of tens of thousands of worldwide fans, to work on those mythical "new projects and new directions." Since then, Swans fans have anxiously awaited some new musical output from Gira, whose haunting, Johnny Cash-like voice defined Swans' music for nearly two decades. With Angels of Light, Gira's first post-Swans outing, his fans need not wait any longer.Angels of Light is essentially Gira, accompanied by a host of other fringe musicians, some of whom contributed in the past to Swans' releases and touring outfits. But the band's debut album, New Mother (Young God Records), is a whole lot more than the sum of its parts. Written, sung and produced by Gira, New Mother represents a radical shift into new musical territory, while keeping with the raw energy and passion that marked Gira's work with his former band.
New Mother could be called a conceptual work, but, then, so could most of what Gira's done in the past. The album is at once heartwrenching and beautiful, and makes use of complex arrangements and a vast array of oddball instrumentation.
Angels of Light aren't Swans, but Gira's new project is by all accounts an extension of the musical experiment he began more than 18 years ago. Old fans will be far from disappointed, and those who are hearing Gira's alchemy for the first time are likely to be quite pleasantly surprised.