Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Single of the Week: Swans - "A Piece Of The Sky"

The new Swans record The Seer happens to be two hours long, but it saves one of its best moments for its penultimate act. "A Piece Of The Sky" may not be The Seer's longest track (a brisk 19 minutes compared to the 30 or so of the title track), but it almost certainly is the prettiest. Opening with the sound of crackling flames and a low-end distorted rumble the track slowly evolves into an ambient mood piece highlighed with what resembles the percussive rattling of stringed instruments. At the ten minute mark it changes again into the steady roll of post-rock with slow guitar phrases over bells. In the final minutes Michael Gira reaches over to the microphone to record a solemn vocal over acoustic guitar. Somehow his usually jagged croon becomes the most moving part of the track, especially when almost doo-wop sounding backing vocals emerge. "A Piece Of The Sky" then fades gracefully with the twinkle of xylophone, leaving the memory of one of the most affecting of pieces of orchestrated rock you're probably ever likely to hear.

From The Seer. This track can only currently be heard as part of the album stream which you can find by following this link.

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