I'm not going to pretend I know much about Michael Gira's work with Swans or his Angels of Light material aside from the '05 split LP with Akron/Family. Nevertheless, I've been listening to and greatly enjoying the upcoming Angels of Light album, We Are Him
, most of this evening. Akron/Family are back on board for this album and their presence is readily apparent throughout. My early favorite track is "The Man We Left Behind"-- which opens with a meditative two-minute instrumental intro featuring a low-key single-note guitar part that will sound instantly familiar to A/F fans, along with droning violin and ambiance aiding, monotone harmonic vocal "ahhs". The main body of the song initially employs only acoustic guitar, piano, and voice. From there, Akron/Family methodically add layer upon layer until finally arriving back to the instrumental section that got it all started. The tune fits my mood just about perfectly this evening and is precisely the kind of song I needed to help me unwind after a long day. Gira's voice provides much of the character here and carries with it considerable authority. At once somber and strangely/vaguely celebratory, his lower-register croon occasionally reminds me of Lou Reed a bit-- which could hardly be considered anything but a positive.
Angels of Light - "The Man We Left Behind"We Are Him
is due August 13th on Young God Records
. You can listen to two other album cuts, here
Labels: akron/family, angels of light