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The 70 Best Albums of 2010

2010's best albums are highlighted by the emergence of a future superstar, two veteran and virtuoso rappers, and a Dream Team of indie bands releasing career peaks.

Recent
Books

The Story of Swans by Those Who Lived to Tell

Nick Soulsby's oral history of Swans digs deep in and around the trenches of Michael Gira's twisted musical world.

Music

Jarboe and Byla's 2007 LP 'Viscera' Gets Reissue Treatment From Translation Loss (album stream)

Still ahead of its time one decade on, Jarboe and Byla's Viscera moves to vinyl for the first time on 20 July. Listen now.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Swans: The Great Annihilator / Michael Gira: Drainland

By pairing The Great Annihilator with Drainland, the emotional rawness of Gira and Jarboe's art comes through in full color.

Interviews

Finding the Image: Michael Gira Talks Swans' Creative Process

Michael Gira discusses the mistake that led to a critical part of the latest Swans album, building a collective mind, and the art of Francis Bacon.

Music

Norman Westberg: 13

Almost too obscure to gain any attention the first go-round, Swans guitarist Norman Westberg's 13 enjoys a deserved reissue.

Music

Swans: The Gate

Michael Gira’s lauded experimental rock group returns with an apocalyptic shriek.

Music

Eszter Balint - 'Airless Midnight' (album stream) (premiere)

Singer-songwriter Eszter Balint's first album in more than a decade, while eclectic, retains a remarkable consistency throughout.

Music

Blood and Thunder: Entering the Echo Chamber

In an age when writers regularly churn out "content" at dizzying speeds, truly great music makes a writer slow down and take time to reflect.

Music

Swans - "I'll Cry for You" (audio) (Premiere)

You can now hear a long-lost Swans tune from the Filth era, that didn't see a proper release at first -- because someone's parents said no.

Music

The Best Albums of 2014

From Polish black metal to mind-blowing progressive R&B and electronic music, 2014's best albums certainly have something for everyone.

Music

Swans: Oxygen EP

Revealing the true horsepower behind the Swans’ "Oxygen", this four-song collection should be handled by a professional driver on a closed course.

Music

The Seer Guides Us to Be Kind: Ten Great Songs by Swans 2.0

Following their "reconstitution", Swans have put out three albums since 2010. PopMatters examines the best material the innovative rock band has put out during that time.

Music

The Knife and the Blood That Ensues: An Interview with Swans

PopMatters speaks with Swans frontman Michael Gira about the band's "joyous" new double LP, To Be Kind, covering everything from its undulating rhythms to its original titillating cover art.

Music

Swans: To Be Kind

To Be Kind is a punishing exploration of rhythm and groove as only Swans can do it.

Music

The Transcendant Power of Extreme Music

Genres like metal can be experienced as a cleansing agent, removed of anger, sadness, pleasure, and bereft of space and origin. Momentarily, you are negated, a joyous flipside to nihilism.

Music

The Artists of the Year: 2012 Edition

The 2012 artists of the year range from urgent political punk and hip-hop challenging the establishment -- whether political or economic -- to the rise of a new generation of pop divas and forward-looking indie and R&B.

Music

The Indie Rock Trends of 2012

This year saw a number of interesting developments in the indie rock world, all reflective of the genre's ever-expanding palate.

Music

Critical Watchdog: Handicapping the 2012 "Album of the Year" Lists

In the past few days, Uncut, Mojo, and Paste have released their Album of the Year lists, and AllMusic is dropping theirs throughout the week. Some quick analysis shows that it's pretty obvious what the #1 record of the year is going to be for a lot of publications...

Music

Sturm und Swans: Stalking 'The Seer'

The end result of Swan's recent The Seer is a place where Gira’s demons, sages, and baffled, bruised mortals do the jig of life alongside the dance macabre, and the gentleness of John the Baptist rides upon the rage of Jehovah.

Arthur Smith
Music

The Seer Returns: An Interview with Swans' Michael Gira

Upon the release of Swans' 12th album, Michael Gira opens up about why this is not a Swans reunion album, music piracy, and what fans can expect from the upcoming tour.

Matt Spencer
Music

Jonathan Kane’s February: Live at Issue Project Room

I got them post apocalyptic blues again, mama.

Music

Swans: My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky

Michael Gira's legendary Swans return from over a decade of silence to create a heart-stopping album of sin, death, hope, and reclamation.

Books

The Recording Studio Becomes a Musical Instrument in Its Own Right in 'The Producer as Composer'

As Virgil Moorefield describes the process of sampling and detailing the typical studio set-up of an act like the Chemical Brothers, he shows us that the soundboard is not an easy instrument to master.

Music

Angels of Light: We Are Him

We Are Him showcases a side of Michael Gira that shares more in common with, say, Jim Thirlwell than it does Johnny Cash.


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