Once a heaving, fractured and abrasive group of bone-crushing bass and drums, Swans brought a collision of art and nihilism to the scuzzy filth of New York's No Wave scene. Swans consistently blurred the lines of experimental music; graciously exploring the boundaries of gothic, noise, and even ambient music. Their sound culminated in what many consider their magnum opus - the 1996 Soundtracks for the Blind. The band dissolved soon afterward, and lead vocalist Michael Gira formed folk/acoustic group The Angels of Light. Swans faded into obscurity - barely praised, critiqued or even discussed until its reformation in 2009.
Its reformation brought about a new band lineup, with Michael Gira as the only remaining member. Swans was reborn, creating epic dirges of apocalyptic proportions. The band features Christoph Hahn fabricating deranged hums on a lap steel guitar; Thor Harris and ex-Cop Shoot Cop member Phil Puleo spawning tribal requiems on drums, vibes, dulcimer and gongs; Christopher Pravdica exemplifying the pounding and throbbing of early '80s Swans on bass; and long-time Swans member Norman Westberg, crafting ominous lamentations on guitar.
This new iteration of the band was met with critical acclaim for their 2012 and 2014 epics The Seer and To Be Kind. Touring these albums, Swans often played extensive sets that could last from one to two hours. Seeing them live is more than a show, it is a physical and mental experience; it's near-sonic obliteration, with waves of noise and sound that blend together into an apocalyptic hum.
Swans have shared the album title and tracklist for The Glowing Man, released through Young God/Mute Records on June 17, 2016. Check out the tracklist below, as well as a list of tour dates and personal statement from lead man Michael Gira.
The Glowing Man:
01 Cloud of Forgetting
02 Cloud of Unknowing
03 The World Looks Red / The World Looks Black
04 People Like Us
05 Frankie M.
06 When Will I Return?
07 The Glowing Man
08 Finally, Peace.
SWANS TOUR 2016
7/6 - Philadelphia PA, Union Transfer
7/7 - Boston MA, Royale Nightclub
7/8 - Providence RI, Fete
7/9 - Quebec QC, Le Cercle
7/10 - Toronto ON, Danforth Music Hall
7/12 - Detroit MI, St Andrews Hall
7/13 - Milwaukee WI, Shank Hall
7/14 - Minneapolis MN, Fine Line Music Cafe
7/15 - Chicago IL, Lincoln Hall
7/16 - Chicago IL, Lincoln Hall
7/18 - Cleveland OH, Beachland Ballroom
7/19 - Cincinnati OH, Woodward
7/21 - Louisville KY, Headliner's Music Hall
7/22 - Atlanta GA, Terminal West
7/23 - Asheville NC, Orange Peel
7/24 - Nashville TN, Exit / In
7/26 - Carrboro NC, Cats Cradle
7/27 - Richmond VA, The Broadberry
7/28 - Washington DC, 9:30 CLUB
7/29 - New York NY, Bowery Ballroom
7/30 - Brooklyn NY, Music Hall of Wiliamsburg
9/1 - Tucson AZ, Rialto Theater
9/2 - Los Angeles CA, Fonda Theater
9/3 - San Francisco CA, The Regency Grand Ballroom
9/4 - Portland OR, Wonder Ballroom
9/6 - Vancouver BC, Venue
9/7 - Seattle WA, The Showbox
9/9 - Salt Lake City UT, Urban Lounge
9/10 - Denver CO, Gothic Theater
9/12 - Dallas TX, Trees
9/13 - Austin TX, Mohawk Austin
9/14 - San Antonio TX, Paper Tiger
9/15 - Albuquerque NM, Sunshine Theater
9/16 - Phoenix AZ, Crescent Ballroom