Angels of Light â€¦Sing Other People
MOJO, NO. 138, MAY 2005 | by Sophie Harris
Gentle folk sounds from one-time Swans man and ear-bully Michael Gira.Thereâ€™s long been a mesmeric quality to Giraâ€™s work, where the subtlest sounds interlock to build something hypnotic (and often uncomfortably loud). While that same buzz permeates these latest songs, thereâ€™s a new peacefulness that seems to sit and sigh from the bottom of Other People. Gira says itâ€™s largley thanks to his involvement with NYC modern folk troupe Akron/Family, who play as his backing band. Whatever the cause, the result is a collection of brittle, twinkling songs, inspired by â€˜other peopleâ€™. Some are nightmarishly fantastic (the Michael Jackson/Saddam Hussein chimera of Michaelâ€™s White Hands), others are simple thank-yous (the Johnny Cash-inspired, arms-open waltz, On The Mountain). On all these fabulous tales, Giraâ€™s voice remains reassuringly salty â€“ and as with the best fairy tales, you canâ€™t quite tell if heâ€™s friend or foe.