Angels Of Light: Angels Of Light Sing Other People
Young God Records
Michael Gira is well on his way to having one of the strongest second acts in independent music. Following his notorious Swans, his adaptation of that band’s flirtations with ominous delicacy have borne full fruit in his albums as the Angels of Light.
'Sing Other People' is a particularly strong effort, with Gira’s resonant baritone receiving heavy duty support from members of the Akron/Family, who sound much more focused here than on their debut . They excel on tracks like the all-too brief 'Dawn', with sinewy guitar ably juxtaposed with glockenspiel and 'To Live Through Someone' where Casio perks up some strummed acoustic guitar.
Of course, this is a Gira project, and despite the pretty, if sometimes melancholy music, the lyrics paint a picture of an unsettling environment occupied by individuals warped in body mind and spirit. A disturbed and damaged child lurks in 'The Kid Is Already Breaking'; a dysfunctional celebrity transforms into an apocalyptic destroyer in 'Michael’s White Hands'; vengeful family members pledge to “kill that man” on 'My Sister Said'; wrathful visitors descend from the hills in 'On The Mountain'. Even the seemingly stable occupant of 'Dawn' seems somehow twisted by his forbearance and dedication to his children – changed from a thinking man to someone who can only think of carrying on. (Of course, in Gira’s lyrics it is sometimes hard to tell who he’s addressing or where he stands in the song, so listeners’ interpretations may vary – a fact ably indicated by the murky portraits in the CD booklet.)
An intriguing, finely formed celebration and condemnation of humanity’s dark interior by one of independent music’s most capable artisans.