UPDATE: Michael Gira revealed a slated release date on the anticipated Swans record that is currently being mixed. The unnamed album will allegedly be uncovered on June 17.
Swans frontrunner Michael Gira announced that the “epic” forthcoming album unleashed in May 2016 will be the experimental rock band’s last. He described the currently untitled yet anticipated release as ““Ben-Hur coupled with Kurosawa’s Ran”, saying:
One piece has 240 separate tracks. But there are also a lot of delicate moments. There’s a lot of orchestration — strings, horns, female singers…There are some very pretty, idyllic things, in among the cataclysm. I invest everything I have in trying to make sure it’s the best record ever made.
After being recorded by producer and engineer John Congleton at Sonic Ranch in Texas and Bill Rieflin in the Seattle-based Soundgarden’s studio, the studio LP is being mixed by Gira in Berlin. It’s currently being mixed by Gira himself in Berlin. According to Gira, Bill Rieflin “played pretty much any instrument you can imagine — piano, mellotron, drums, bass, singing.”
Gira also revealed that his wife Jennifer sings one of the album’s central tracks. Though she is not an aspiring musician, she sings “well” and Gira composed the song specifically for her. The studio album will also feature “The World Looks Red,” “The World Looks Black,” “Cloud of Forgetting,” “The Glowing Man,” and “Finally Peace.”
Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira formed the industrial noise rock band in 1982. Swans was renowned for their musical atmosphere of dark ambient soundscapes and post-industrial epics. Gira engaged a changing lineup of musicians until Swans dissolved in 1997.
Gira formed the Americana folk band Angels of Light the following year. He explained that while onstage during an Angels of Light concert, he experienced a nascent urge right then to re-form or reinvigorate Swans because I remembered how elevating and intense that experience was.”
In 2010, Swans reformed. Their rebirth was marked by the album My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky and an eighteen-month world tour. In 2014, Swans released the successful The Seer and To Be Kind, albums funded by the 2-disc handmade live album entitled Not Here / Not Now.
Swans’ fourteenth and final album was preceded by 2015’s fundraiser live album The Gate. “The album is valedictory just because the music itself is valedictory,” he concludes. “Every album is kind of always the last one. It’s always the most important thing you could ever do.”