Swans, the long-running, almost mythical, project of multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira, have enjoyed an astonishing renaissance since its resurgence in 2010. Five years on, and the project is more thriving than at any previous point in its three decades long existence. “The reunion is not repeating the past”, Gira said in 2010. Staying true to his words, Swans 2.0 have, in fact, little to do with the noisy no-wave / post punk of their pre-reunion efforts. Except that it’s dark, very dark. And intense, very very intense. Still, on new single “A Little God In My Hands”, some of their singular, non-compromising vision of expansive – almost apocalyptic – drone rock is toned down a notch. Instead, the writhed horns, mayhem conducting synth drones and salient bass line of “A Little God In My Hands”, reveal a hypnotic krautrock spurred funkiness that sounds something like a Funkadelic and Neu! conspired jam. And amidst all this strangeness, would you be too surprised if I told you that St. Vincent’s Annie Clark makes a multi-layered vocal contribution?
To Be Kind, Swans new album will mark their third studio output since their reunion and is out May 13 on Gira’s Young God imprint in North America and Mute elsewhere.