Angels of Light – New Mother

The legendary formation The Swans was active from 1982 till 1997 and has produced countless great releases. In recent times Michael Gira is focusing on other things, like this one, The Angels of Light, his first post-Swans project. It is already out for some time, but I only recently bought it in a Parisian 2nd-hand store.

Gira has the company here of numerous guests, like Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo ( Cop Shoot Cop), Bill Rieflin (Ministry, NIN, Revolting Cocks), Michelle Amar (Sulphur), Thor Harris (Lisa Germano), Larry Mullins (Iggy Pop), Bill Bronson (Gunga Din) and Julia Kent (Rasputina). Does this affect the music a lot? Well, no, the voice of Michael Gira is of course instantly recognizable, and the atmosphere of The Swans isn’t too far away, but the sound is a bit different though. The songs are bit more accessible, Gira presents himself more as a songwriter, steeped in American traditions.

“New Mother” is a very rich and complex album, exploring various styles and atmospheres. Sometimes a song reminds me of The Velvet Underground, or Tom Waits, or Johnny Cash, but Gira keeps a distinct own style. His singing manner is a bit different from The Swans: of course his low, mesmerizing voice is present, but Michael Gira sounds more like a ‘crooner’, singing late at night in an old city bar…

artist: Angels of Light
label: Young God