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SWANS: New Album Details
Luke Turner , May 29th, 2012 09:53

The Seer arrives in August, features Karen O & Jarboe

As we at the Quietus have helpfully pointed out, Swans are the greatest rock band on the planet, or at least high up among them. Their last album, My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky was one of the best of 2010, their concerts last year were acts of physical endurance and euphoric release, and the recent live record capturing those performances is a phenomenal listen.

We're therefore thrilled to report that Swans have announced full details of their next studio album, The Seer. This record, described by Michael Gira as "the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I’ve ever made, been involved in or imagined", clocks in at two hours in length. What's more, it features a host of guest artists including Ben Frost, Karen O, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low, members of Akron/Family, Grasshopper from Mercury Rev and (one imagines this will get many of you in a tizzy), former Swans member Jarboe on backing vocals and "voice collage".

Michael Gira's full statement about The Seer reads as follows: "The Seer took 30 years to make. It’s the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I’ve ever made, been involved in or imagined. But it’s unfinished, like the songs themselves. It’s one frame in a reel. The frames blur, blend and will eventually fade. The songs began on an acoustic guitar, then were fleshed out with (invaluable) help from my friends, then were further tortured and seduced in the studio, and now they await further cannibalism and force-feeding as we prepare to perform some of them live, at which point they’ll mutate further, endlessly, or perhaps be discarded for a while."

He concludes with a pop at those who misunderstand Swans as hoary grumps: "Despite what you might have heard or presumed, my goal is to spread light and joy through the world. My friends in Swans are all stellar men. Without them I’m a fluffy kitten, an infant. Our goal is the same: ecstasy!" We're down with that.

The Seer features acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, casio, sounds, lap steel guitars, hammer dulcimer, orchestral bells, "handmade violin thing", vibraphone, piano, clarinet, bass guitar, voice, "incredible handshake", organ, casio, synthesizer, voice, "bird idea…", acoustic and electric mandolins, fire sounds (acoustic and synthetic), bagpipes, horns, steel cello, accordion, violin, various songs, and cello contra-bassoon.

Said ecstasy will be released on triple vinyl and double digipack CD on August 27th. Anyone buying the The Seer from the Young God shop here will get an exclusive Swans live DVD. The Seer tracklist runs like this:

'Mother of the World'
'The Wolf'
'The Seer'
'The Seer Returns'
'93 Ave. B Blues'
'The Daughter Brings the Water'
'Song for a Warrior'
'A Piece of the Sky'
'The Apostate'

And if that wasn't enough for you, here's a trailer: