Angels of Light Sing Other People | Mike Wood

Sooner or later, any review of a M. Gira record is bound to use the word gorgeous

Since co-founding and then splitting up the seminal Swans, which pushed the extremities of word and sound, he has gone for a softer approach, weaving semi-acoustic sound-scapes that feel like found songs from someone's attic. His work with Angels of Light, Body Haters, and Body Lovers (he is nothing if not willing to explore all degrees of emotion, Gira has constructed beautiful little missives from the outer reaches of experience. That his work has gotten lighter, in the sense of more hopeful, is a testament that his constant searching is having results. In fact, Sing 'Other People' could almost be a pop record, at least in his catalogue. Brittle, sparce tracks like "The Kid is Already Breaking" and "On The Mountain" feel like observations written on the fly while spying on a stranger; others, like "Michael's White Hands" and "Destroyer", wrestle with personal demons. There is even a sort of children's song, "Purple Creek", which is, yes, gorgeous, though I would never want to meet the child to whom this would be sung. While not as stunning or moving as early Angels' records, this opens a path to a new brightness for the band and for M. Gira. He is one of the two of three artists in music today who are almost guaranteed to produce brilliant work every time, and he delivers again with Sing 'Other People'. In the press material for the records, Gira says that each song is a gift to friends. Though he may deny it, he includes us in that fortunate list.