The Seer

by Swans

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06:08
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01:35
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32:14
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05:21
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08:51
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23:01

about

A NOTE FROM MICHAEL GIRA

“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.

FULL CREDITS

SWANS

Michael Gira
voice, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, casio, sounds

Norman Westberg
electric guitar, voice

Christoph Hahn
lap steel guitars; electric guitar, voice

Phil Puleo
drums, percussion, hammer dulcimer, voice

Thor Harris
drums, percussion, orchestral bells, hammer dulcimer, handmade violin thing, vibraphone, piano, clarinet, voice

Christopher Pravdica
bass guitar, voice, incredible handshake

Honorary Swan: Bill Rieflin
piano, organ, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, percussion, casio, synthesizer, bass guitar, voice, bird idea

SPECIAL GUESTS

Karen O
lead vocal on Song for a Warrior (Karen appears courtesy Interscope Records)

Al and Mimi of Low
co-vocals on Lunacy

Jarboe
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

Ben Frost
fire sounds (acoustic and synthetic) on Piece of the Sky

Iain Graham
bagpipes on The Seer

Bruce Lamont
horns on The Seer

Bob Rutman
steel cello on The Seer

Cassis Staudt
accordion various songs

Eszter Balint
violin, various songs

Jane Scarpatoni
cello various songs

Kevin McMahon
additional drums on the Seer Returns, electric guitar, sounds on various songs

Bryce Goggin
piano on Song for a Warrior

Stefan Rocke
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.

credits

released April 17, 2014

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Swans New York, New York

Swans are: Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris, Christopher Pravdica.

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