Angels of Light | How I Loved You | ReviewBig acoustic guitars and love songs; not necessarily the first thing you'd expect from Michael Gira... a man who once proclaimed Public Castration Is A Good Idea.
In the first half of the 80s Swans were arguably the last word in noisenik terrorism: even alongside Big Black and the Butthole Surfers their ear-splitting volume, agonizingly slow tempos and in-your-face misanthropy was an exercise in extremity. Yet even Swans mellowed with age, and long before splitting up had embraced acoustic instruments and conventional songwriting. Indeed, it's the latter-day Swans that this most closely resembles, due to Michael Gira's distinctive timbre and penchant for all-consuming wall-of-sound production, which lends his songs a similarly gargantuan resonance. How I Loved You explores the themes of love and loss with a combination of confessional introspection and epic orchestration. Although Gira often sounds like he's shouldering the weight of the world and its woes, it seems the light of love has erased the burden and made his music an uplifting, even redemptive experience.