Essential Albums

Artist Playlists

  • Swans Essentials
  • Inspired by Swans

Singles & EPs


About Swans

Led by Michael Gira, Swans started out in New York City's underground music scene in the early '80s with a dark, heavy sound equal parts industrial, post-punk, and experimental. Over the course of the decade, partially aided by the addition of singer Jarboe, the band toned down the sonic shock tactics and became more sophisticated and melodic. After a cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" earned them college radio play, they released their first major-label album, 1989's Bill Laswell-produced Burning World, an accessible record full of graceful beauty. In the mid-'90s, Gira retired the Swans, but re-formed them in 2010 without Jarboe. This incarnation produced the group's most acclaimed, successful work, with 2014's To Be Kind reaching the Top 40 in both the U.S. and U.K.

New York, NY, United States of America