Swans – Oxygen


Of all the best of lists I compiled over the years, my biggest regret is leaving Swans’ The Seer out of 2012’s top 10 list. As already mentioned, Michael Gira and his horsemen of the apocalypse are set to follow-up The Seer with a new album titled To Be Kind to be release via Young God / Mute. After last month’s hypnotic and absolutely staggering “A Little God In My Hands”, the band recently unveiled second single “Oxygen”.

While these new cuts continue Swans unapologetic version of no wave, the biggest revelation of “Oxygen” is how it’s constructed around a terse, annular bass groove that unravel a muddy, almost primal way of approaching melody and structure. Not to mention Gira’s animalistic, almost manic yelps that only adds heaps of more tension to its already primordial dissonance. Sounding like the most psychotic tribal gathering you’ll most likely never attend, “Oxygen” is a breathless distillation of everything I’ve come to learn and love about Swans 2.0.

The over two hours long To Be Kind is out May 12 Via Mute and May 13 via Young Gold.


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