This album is like a mind-altering drug, except the trip gets better everytime. I wholeheartedly abuse this and highly recommend you do too. Pump the volume up and it gets fucking intense.
Favorite track: The Seer.
“The Seer took 30 years to make. It’s the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I’ve ever made, been involved in or imagined. But it’s unfinished, like the songs themselves. It’s one frame in a reel. The frames blur, blend and will eventually fade.
The songs began on an acoustic guitar, then were fleshed out with (invaluable) help from my friends, then were further tortured and seduced in rehearsals, live and in the studio, and now they await further cannibalism and force-feeding as we prepare to perform some of them live, at which point they’ll mutate further, endlessly, or perhaps be discarded for a while.
Despite what you might have heard or presumed, my quest is to spread light and joy through the world. My friends in Swans are all stellar men. Without them I’m a kitten, an infant. Our goal is the same: ecstasy!"
HOW THE SONGS CAME TO BE
The songs The Seer, Ave. B Blues, Avatar, and The Apostate were developed organically as a group in rehearsals and on tour. They morphed constantly throughout the last series of Swans tours, and were captured and lovingly adorned in the studio. The remaining songs on the album were developed from the ground up in the studio with the participation and input of all the contributing musicians, guided by an invisible hand...
Recorded at Studio P4 and Andere Baustelle in Berlin, by Kevin McMahon and at Marcata Studio, Gardiner, NY, by Kevin McMahon. Additional recording at Trout Recording, Brooklyn, NY, engineer: Bryce Goggin. Mixed by Kevin McMahon at Marcata. Produced by Michael Gira.
voice, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, casio, sounds
electric guitar, voice
lap steel guitars; electric guitar, voice
drums, percussion, hammer dulcimer, voice
bass guitar, voice, incredible handshake
Honorary Swan: Bill Rieflin
piano, organ, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, percussion, casio, synthesizer, bass guitar, voice, bird idea
lead vocal on Song for a Warrior (Karen appears courtesy Interscope Records)
Al and Mimi of Low
co-vocals on Lunacy
backing vocals and voice collage on Piece of the Sky and backing vocals on The Seer Returns
Seth Olinsky, Miles Seaton, Dana Janssen (Akron/Family)
backing vocals on Piece of the Sky
Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella of Big Blood
accordion, vocals, dulcimer, guitar, piano and assorted other instruments on the Seer Returns
Sean Mackowiak (the grasshopper)
acoustic and electric mandolins, clarinet, various songs
fire sounds (acoustic and synthetic) on Piece of the Sky
bagpipes on The Seer
horns on The Seer
steel cello on The Seer
accordion various songs
violin, various songs
cello various songs
additional drums on the Seer Returns, electric guitar, sounds on various songs
piano on Song for a Warrior
contra bassoon on the Seer
Produced by Michael Gira. Recorded at Studio P4 and Andere Baustelle in Berlin, by Kevin McMahon, assistants Marco and Boris, and at Marcata Studio, Gardiner, NY, by Kevin McMahon. Additional recording at Trout Recording, Brooklyn, NY, engineer: Bryce Goggin, assistant: Adam Sachs. Mixed by Kevin McMahon at Marcata. Mastered by Doug Henderson at Micro-Moose Berlin. Pre-mastering by Jamal Ruhe at West Westside Music.
Artwork: Paintings and Swans photo portraits by Simon Henwood.
Swans are an experimental rock band formed in 1982 by Michael Gira. Initially part of the no wave scene, Swans have, through various iterations, contributed to the development of noise rock, post-punk, industrial, post-rock and more.
I wonder if I am the only person to listen to this album at full blast with the headphones on, zoning out by staring at the record sleeve real close and thinking "what the fuck?" Under less influence, my curiosity took over - in the light of the day, the biblical and Cormac McCarthy references are much clearer to understand lol. bcb723