My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope To the Sky

My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope To the Sky

The Swans’ first album since 1996, My Father combines the strong-armed assault of the early Swans with the calmer sounds of Michael Gira’s later work with Angels of Light. The opening cut, “No Words/ No Thoughts” works off a drone and a robotic, sludge beat for nine-plus minutes. Gira’s creepy vocals finish things off. “Jim” builds on a repetitious trudge with the same notes building in intensity as Gira takes on the role of the hypnotic priest over six long minutes. “My Birth” is nearly conventional rock music by comparison. The rhythms still pound in determination but the melody pops out alongside the guitars and keyboards. “You F*****g People Make Me Sick” isn’t nearly as offensive as its title suggests, but it is an abstract piece of musical sounds banging into one another as Devendra Banhart and Gira’s daughter duet. “Inside Madeline” is a beautifully layered gentle piece with Gira emerging at song’s end. “Eden Prison” is nearly metal with its surging guitar lines and apocalyptic, industrial doomscape. If it says Swans, it’s not for the faint of heart.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada