Michael Gira made his name with the much revered Swans, but his Angels Of Light project is a million musical miles away from work of the past. The Angels Of Light Sing “Other People” is an album of delicate beauty; like the earliest springtime blooms, it needs much nurturing, much attention, to attain its full potential. Thus, time requires investing; a single, unconcentrated listen to this record will reveal nothing. It is only when all around is still, when everything else in the day has been done, that these songs reach their targets: the nerves closest to the core of the human spirit.
These songs are uncomplicated, their delivery simple and charming. The chimes and vocal harmonies throughout opener ‘Lena’s Song’ serve as a nice representation of what’s to come, but later tracks possess a depth uncommon in music so stripped of superfluous, aesthetic substance. ‘My Friend Thor’ is a ramshackle, backwater folk hymn that clatters and clangs its way through some beautifully vivid lyricism: “The starlight is leaking is leaking through the holes in your ceiling / The sawdust’s collecting on your spoons and your bedding...” Later, Gira’s imagery dips its toes in many thematically different ponds, but never is quality compromised. ‘Destroyer’ tells a tale of Heavenly cleansing, perhaps - “Remember as you kill us and cut us down... someone will breathe here again, and they will hate you for what you leave” - but Gira’s stirring storytelling, delivered deadpan like a narcoleptic Nick Cave, is perfectly suited to its understated, unhurried acoustic accompaniment (there is but ten seconds of drumming across 12 songs).
‘Dawn’ is impossibly gorgeous; ‘My Sister Said’, likewise, albeit with a sinister edge, the line “I’ll kill that man” repeated throughout. Truth be told, there’s not one song here that doesn’t warrant immediate investigation. ...Sing “Other People” is a record rich in honesty, in true human emotions and wishes and woes. It is utterly engaging, totally absorbing and, well, absolutely essential. Just buy it, love it and bow to its reciprocated beauty.
10Mike Diver's Score