Swans have revealed the first new track from To Be Kind, their upcoming follow-up to their 2012 beast of an album, The Seer. The album is out May 13 via Young God/Mute, and the first streamable track from the record is called “A Little God In My Hands.” Listen to it below courtesy of Self-Titled.
To Be Kind features a long list of guest contributors, which include St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, Little Annie, Cold Specks, and Bill Rieflin. And the artwork, one panel of which you can see above, features several different panels of images of babies’ faces, painted by Bob Biggs. Biggs is also known for being the head of Slash Magazine and Slash Records, which released albums by X, Gun Club, Violent Femmes and others.
Swans frontman Michael Gira shared on Pitchfork some history about these images and his relationship to them:
I recall asking Bob in 1981 or so if I could use one of those baby images for a record, and he said, definitively, NO.
But those images have remained in the back of my head since then, always nagging. It seems they’re always calling me, calling, calling…
I’m delighted that these images, finally with Bob’s consent, can now act as innocent, but implacable sentinels for the music of Swans, after all these years. .. God Bless Bob Biggs…
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.