Following their 2012 epic The Seer and their recent live LP Not Here/Not Now, Swans have announced their next album. It's called To Be Kind and it's out May 13 on Michael Gira's Young God imprint in North America and on Mute everywhere else.
To Be Kind features special guests St. Vincent ("Annie Clark sang numerous, multi-tracked vocals throughout the record"), Cold Specks ("Al contributed numerous multi-tracked vocals to the song 'Bring the Sun'"), Little Annie ("Annie sang a duet with me on the song 'Some Things We Do', the strings for which were ecstatically arranged and played by Julia Kent"), and Bill Rieflin ("honorary Swan Bill played too many instruments to list here, ranging from additional drums, to synthesizers, to piano, to electric guitar and so on"), among others.
The album was produced by Gira and recorded at Sonic Ranch outside El Paso, Texas with John Congleton. It was made between October and December of last year. "A good portion of the material for this album was developed live during the Swans tours of 2012/13," writes Gira in a note. "Much of the music was otherwise conjured in the studio environment."
The Swans lineup on this album is Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris, and Christopher Pravdica.
The LP will be available digitally, on triple vinyl, a double CD, and a deluxe double CD edition that will also come with a live DVD. "In addition, I am thinking of releasing it as a USB 'stick' / flashdrive (with special packaging), so that this ultimate, high quality version can be listened to from beginning to end, without interruption (the album is a little over two hours long)", Gira adds.