Swans will release a new album called The Beggar on June 23 through Mute / Young God. It’s the act’s first LP since 2019’s leaving meaning, and figurehead Michael Gira said:
“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.”
The album was recorded bu Gira alongside Kristof Hahn (lap steel, various guitars, vocals), Larry Mullins (drums, vibes, orchestral percussion, Mellotron, various keyboards, backing vocals), Dana Schechter (bass guitar, lap steel, keyboards, vocals, piano), Christopher Pravdica (bass guitar, sounds, keyboards, vocals), Phil Puleo (drums, percussion, vocals, piano, exotic wind instruments) and Ben Frost (guitar, synthesizers, sound manipulations).
Swans have shared the first single from the record, the 10-minute “Paradise is Mine”. Rather than the bright soundscape its title suggests, the track features Swans’ usual patient, foreboding build up, to a point where Gira repeatedly asks “are you ready to die?” Things get more spiritual and surreal as it heads into the final minute of weird wind instrumentation.
Listen to “Paradise is Mine” below or find it on streamers.
Swans’ new album The Beggar arrives on June 23 via Young God / Mute (pre-order/save). You can find the band on Facebook and Instagram.