The near-legendary experimental rock outfit, Swans, recently lit up Philly’s Union Transfer venue with support by Jenny Hval for a solid gathering of rapid fans. Celebrating the May 2014 release of its 13th studio album, the epic, triple-LP, To Be Kind– Swans continue a legacy of stellar receptions by critics and fans as the band’s live presence continues to garner new followers and extend a worldwide influence.
DrownedInSound.com, who gave the effort a perfect 10/10, commented “To say that Swans have had a successful comeback would be the mother of all understatements..The songs are organic creations which, much like Swans’ live shows, rely on Gira’s loose, but commanding, direction rather than predetermined stylistic conventions. You sense that the bond between the band leader and his collaborators, still Messers Hahn, Harris, Pradvica, Puleo and Westberg, is now so strong that the colossal sound of Swans in full flight arises more naturally than ever.” You would get no argument from the packed house of Philly fans who contemplated each subtle and not-so-subtle movement the band offered up throughout the evening. If you botched your chance to snag the new vinyl at the show, you can still pick up special collections at Young God Records.
The bill was rounded out by multi-faceted Norwegian artist Jenny Hval as she continues to support an interesting body of work not limited to traditional EP/LP formats. Hval‘s latest studio effort, Innocence Is Kinky, saw the Norwegian break into a larger worldwide audience with Pitchfork.com commenting, “First under the stage name Rockettothesky and later under her real name, Hval has been a mainstay in the Oslo scene for several years now, but little in her catalog– which includes a handful of albums as well as two novels, several sound installations, and a master’s thesis on Kate Bush– signaled the breakthrough she makes on Innocence Is Kinky..Hval explores some enormous, unwieldy concepts that tend to pop up more often in textbooks than on turntables.”
Enjoy a fresh set of photos by Blow The Scene’s Senior Photographer Dante Torrieri (Useless Rebel Imaging)