Listen to new music from Swans and prepare yourself for their new album


So yep bleak US rock outfit Swans, one of the most terrifying live musical experiences you will ever encounter, have just announced their forthcoming sixteenth studio album, The Beggar, and in doing so they’ve shared the ominous single ‘Paradise Is Mine’.

‘Am I ready to die?’ he asks over hypnotic droning voice. In a way it almost feels like ritualistic music, if the ritual involved a black hearted search for spirituality via washed out discordant rock music imbued with an ever present threat of extreme violence. Make no mistake, they’re trying to mess with your equilibrium.

The Beggar sees Swans honcho Michael Gira reunite with mainstays Kristof Hahn, Larry Mullins, Christopher Pravdica and Phil Puleo – all of whom appeared on 2019’s Leaving Meaning – as well as employing new folks Dana Schechter and Australian-born, Iceland-based musician and composer Ben Frost.

This is what Michael Gira has to say about it:

“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.”

We can’t wait. And who hasn’t always seen him as a pink poodle?

The Beggar will be released June 23 via Mute. You can find it here.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.