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SWANS – Line up MCR Albert Hall show (12 Aug) || New Album: ‘The Beggar’

Stopping-off in the city as part of a wider European and North American run, the band will be performing material from their acclaimed sixteenth studio album ‘The Beggar’, which is out now on Mute.

‘The Beggar’ was written and produced by Michael Gira and features contributions from recent and former Swans, members of Angels of Light, as well as Guest Swan Ben Frost. Recorded and mixed at Candy Bomber Studio, Berlin, it was engineered by Ingo Krauss and mastered by Doug Henderson at Micro-Moose, Berlin.

Speaking about the new release, the band’s Michael Gira says:

“After numerous pandemic-induced cancellations of tours for the previous Swans album leaving meaning, and an apparent bottomless pit of waiting, waiting, waiting, and the strange disorientation that came with this sudden but interminable forced isolation I decided it was time to write songs for a new Swans album and forget about everything else. They came relatively easily, always informed by the suspicion that these could be my last. When I finally was able to travel, songs in hand, to Berlin to work with my friends recording this record, the feeling was akin to the moment in The Wizard of Oz when the film changes from Black and White to Color. Now I’m feeling quite optimistic. My favourite color is pink. I hope you enjoy the album.” – Michael Gira

‘The Beggar’ is available now on double vinyl in a brown chipboard sleeve with a download card for accessing an additional 44 minutes of music (a 44 minute piece of music called The Beggar Lover (Three) that is included on the CD), and as a double CD in a brown chipboard digi-pack.
Michael Gira founded the groundbreaking NYC band Swans in 1982. Initially notorious for their relentless, brutal, high-volume onslaughts of sound, the extreme, abject imagery of Gira’s lyrics and his thundering vocals, Swans would undergo a series of startling transformation over the next 15 years. Following the punishing ‘Filth’ and ‘Cop’ albums, the ensemble would venture into harshly mechanical proto-industrial rock of their ‘Greed’ period, then both haunted atmospheric idylls and martial stomps on 1987’s landmark ‘Children of God’ double album. They’d conjure gentler acoustic-based meditations on ‘The Burning World’ (1989), then after relocating to Atlanta grand, melody-dense sonic whirlwinds of the ‘White Light’ from the ‘Mouth of Infinity’ (1991) and ‘Love of Life’ (1993) era, becoming more dissonant and sharp-edged with ‘The Great Annihilator’ (1994). Finally, the ultimate statement of that epoch of Swans, ‘Soundtracks For The Blind’ (1996), incorporated all of these elements across well over two hours of music. At this point, Gira called it quits after 15 years of non-stop recording and touring, disbanding the group. For the next 13 years, he’d make a long series of acclaimed albums and perform live extensively with a revolving roster of musicians under the name Angels Of Light. Gira also discovered, produced and released albums by other musicians through his label Young God Records. He cultivated such talents as Devendra Banhart and Akron/Family among others, the original figures of the late 00’s Avant-folk movement.

In 2010, he reactivated Swans, releasing the studio album ‘My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky’ to ecstatic critical response and touring the world for the better part of a year. ‘The Seer’, a triple album studio set, came out in 2012 and was celebrated by another lengthy world tour eliciting more media praise and album sales that landed ‘The Seer’ on Billboard’s Top 200. Swans’ next release, ‘To Be Kind’ (another triple vinyl) debuted at #36 on Billboard’s Top 200 Sales Chart and #5 on their Independent Sales Chart. The group sold out 47 concert dates in their subsequent touring including selling out two-night stands in cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Paris, as well as single shows in London, Berlin and Rome. The album garnered enormous praise from the press, and the two-hour long album stream was premiered by NPR. ‘The Glowing Man’ (2017) (also triple vinyl) was the last studio release by this incarnation of Swans. With 2019’s ‘Leaving Meaning’, the 15th studio album, Gira returned to working with a fluid supporting cast of musicians once again.

Latest album ‘The Beggar’ is out now. Don’t miss Swans performing cuts from the record and their extensive back catalogue at the Albert Hall, Manchester on Saturday 12 August 2023.
12 Aug – Swans @ Albert Hall, Manchester
Tickets on sale here: