Akron/Family + Angels Of Light | Review

odd art-folk offerings

November 18/05 No writer listed Akron/Family + Angels Of Light ­ Akron/Family + Angels Of Light (Young God) Angels Of Light ­ Sing Other People (Young God) I have always admired Michael Gira's attitude to songwriting, he has never compromised, and always recorded exactly what he wants to, this is best described in his own words: "After making more records than I care to remember I've realized that I have no control over the process of writing, and when I'm lucky, I embrace that fact, stop fighting, and let the creature that hovers behind my head take over. He's my best friend. He appears less often than I'd like, but when he shows himself he makes the best decisions, so why struggle?..." On 'Sing With Other People' Gira has shown this by stripping his music back to its barest roots. Many tracks are entirely acoustic. When electric instruments are used, they're used sparsely, there are no drums and very little percussion. Gone are the trademark layers of repeated chants and crashes (apart from 'Michaels White Hands'), and I have the horrible feeling that Gira may have cheered up a little. This is now the fourth outing for Gira's new band since killing of the legendary Swans back in 1998 and it took me a good few listens to realise that this is a very special and personal collection of songs. The second recent release is a split Akron/Family / Angels of Light CD. Akron/Family are yet another eccentric outfit picked up and nurtured by Gira, other examples being Devandra Banhart and the superb Calla. Again I found this set of recordings difficult to digest, that was until I hit track four 'Future Myth' and was convinced that I could hear a psychedelic folksy take on Dire Straits 'Money For Nothing' (maybe I am going mad) following this, I started to warm to their odd art-folk offerings, and although these guys look like four beggars from the south bank, I would recommend that you check out this release for yourselves. The second half of this cd is old territory for Angels of Light fans back are the drums and moody, chanted, frenetic layered tracks, just as I was starting to think Gira had mellowed. There is even a fantastic acoustic version of the Swan's classic 'Mother / Father'. Black Squirrel