The Angels of Light | by J. Honn

Other People

Back in my undergraduate college days when I would mellow out by listening to ambient albums, M. Gira's band Swans was a staple. Though rougher than Experinmental Audio Research and closer to found sound/noise ambient stylings of The Hair and Skin Trading Co., Swans always had a chaotic yet settling effect on the listener (or at least me). After a number of releases under that name Gira ended up starting his own label which recently released his offering Other People under the moniker The Angels of Light. The label, aside from continuing to feature Gira's work, has become a tour de force for the new folk genre, releasing all of Devendra Banhart's albums and finding great young talent like NYC's Akron/Family (who back Gira on this album). The Angels of Light is an older M. Gira who has found song structure and melody, abandoning the droning and often disconnected qualities of Swans, though hints do indeed remain. The music is a perfect blend of high pitch acoustic guitar and Gira's deep, often crooning voice. When backed with lush female vocals the album takes dreamy turns, much like lying in bed listening to Swans, falling slowly asleep in musical bliss.