Swans’ Playlist: Insomniac Dreams

Swans have occupied a significant nook in experimental music since the early 1980s, when singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira formed the first iteration of the band in New York City. Since, Swans have been a continual artistic study in evolution and adaptation, as they’ve dived into the wild depths of no wave, post-punk, and noise rock and taken us on nearly maniacal explorations of sound where terror meets transcendence (see the 34-minute epic “Bring The Sun/Toussaint L’Ouverture”). In 2019, Gira returned with a new lineup for his band’s 15th studio album, Leaving Meaning, and that fall he announced a 2020 tour. To celebrate, the influential leader shared with us a playlist of mind-bending sounds, from artists like Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, and Swans themselves.

Says Gira of the playlist and his 2020 plans: “Here is some music I chose… I hope you enjoy it. The newly refurbished Swans will be touring beginning early next year. In Europe, the stalwart Norman Westberg will be our support. In the USA, the fabulous Anna von Hausswolff will support. In the meantime, my best wishes to you.”