On September 8th, Esben and the Witch release their third album, A New Nature, their first on their own Nostromo Records. They are clearly stoked at the results as they let us have a listen early and we're really into it. It's was recorded by the "well-worn, expert hands" of Steve Albini at his Chicago Electrical Audio studio and sounds like a band doing exactly what they want to. You can read more about the record, listen to a bit and pre-order it here.
We're especially psyched to invite the band to Totnes to come and play live for us at Drift (September 10th) and, whilst they were browsing our racks, they put together eight records to get you in the mood for their new LP. Good picks, good vibes. Bleak vibes.
Slint - Spiderland A record truly worthy of its acclaim. Innovative, intense, intriguing. The opening guitar in 'Washer' in particular is, simply put, heartbreaking. A true classic.
Only Lovers Left Alive - OST I saw this at the cinema and the soundtrack really blew me away. The image of Tilda Swinton sashaying down a cobbled street in Algiers, eastern sounding guitars jangling exotically over the top of a bass pulse really hooked me in. Jim Jarmusch can play guitar.
SWANS - To Be Kind We continue to be astounded by the output of this band. From first hearing the pure filthy funkiness of 'A Little God In My Hands' to the epic psychedelic prog of 'Bring The Sun/Toussaint L'Ouverture' they just keep on getting better and better. Rather than merely pushing the boundaries, Gira's kicking the shit out of them.
The Body - I Shall Die Here A unabashedly dark, claustrophobic record that sounds like the worst moments of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Meshing metal and techno and creating a writhing, demented beast in the process. Half terrible machine, half terrible monster.
Thee Silver Mt.Zion - Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything I think this is one of the best LPs yet from the Mt.Zion projects. Heavy, melodic, uplifting. 'What We Loved Was Not Enough' being the real highlight. A beautiful drunken waltz of a song that makes me want to swing my glass and punch my fists in the air as the apocalypse descends!
Forest Swords - Engravings An almost mystical dubstep/dance record that creates its own world entirely. It's strange slow wooziness dotted with weird percussive clicks and chimes where distant vocals feel like lost sound-bites of ancient rituals.
Sunn 0)) + Ulver - Terrestials A surprisingly beautiful record that whilst still touching upon the doomy drone expected of Sunn O)) it feels slightly more ethereal and dreamy, perhaps due to the brass and string sections that float throughout, nodding to the more avant-garde, stoner side of jazz. Imagine Alice Coltrane meets Earth.
Russian Circles - Memorial A really strong post-rock record really but a bit more brutal, a bit more metal. The drums on this record are so muscular, showcased in particular on '1777'. Where searing guitars scratch their way through melancholic atmospherics for that ever satisfying, expertly executed crescendo.
https://driftrecords.com/products/swans-to-be-kind276689613Swans - To Be Kind//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0161/8690/products/SWANS_TOBeKind_Cover_large.jpg?v=1504814634//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0161/8690/products/SWANS_TOBeKind_Cover_medium.jpg?v=150481463410.99GBPOutOfStockSwans2014 Half Time ReviewEaster 2016Esben and the WitchIndie & AlternativeMay '14 ForecastMusic Released in 2014MuteRecords of the Year 2014SALE2016Swans
January 13, 2014
We (Swans) have recently completed our new album. It is currently being mastered at the time of this writing. It is called To Be Kind. The release date is set for May 12, 2014. It will be available as a triple vinyl album, a double CD, and a 2XCD Deluxe Edition that will include a live DVD. It will also be available digitally. In addition, I am thinking of releasing it as a USB "stick"? / flashdrive (with special packaging), so that this ultimate, high quality version can be listened to from beginning to end, without interruption (the album is a little over 2 hours long).
The album was produced by me, and it was recorded by the venerable John Congleton at Sonic Ranch, outside El Paso Texas, and further recordings and mixing were accomplished at John's studio in Dallas, Texas. We commenced rehearsals as Sonic Ranch in early October 2013, began recording soon thereafter, then completed the process of mixing with John in Dallas by mid December 2013.
A good portion of the material for this album was developed live during the Swans tours of 2012/13. Much of the music was otherwise conjured in the studio environment.
The Swans are: Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris, Christopher Pravdica.
Special Guests for this record include (among many others): Little Annie(Annie sang a duet with me on the song Some Things We Do, the strings for which were ecstatically arranged and played by Julia Kent); St. Vincent (Annie Clark sang numerous, multi-tracked vocals throughout the record); Cold Specks (Al contributed numerous multi-tracked vocals to the song "Bring the Sun"?); Bill Rieflin (honorary Swan Bill played too many instruments to list here, ranging from additional drums, to synthesizers, to piano, to electric guitar and so on. He has been a frequent contributor to Swans and Angels of Light and is currently playing with King Crimson)"_
I love you! Michael Gira
Screen Shot Just A Little Boy (For Chester Burnett) A Little God In My Hands Bring The Sun/Toussaint L'Ouverture Some Things We Do She Loves Us Kirsten Supine Oxygen Nathalie Neal To Be Kind
DVD (Available With The 2CD And DVD Edition): Swans Live 2013 Primavera: To Be Kind Just A Little Boy Coward She Loves Us Oxygen The Seer / Toussaint L'Ouverture