Leaving Meaning

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Leaving Meaning
Leaving Meaning (Front Cover).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 25, 2019 (2019-10-25)
Length93:10 (CD version)
82:34 (vinyl version)
Label
ProducerMichael Gira
Swans chronology
What Is This?
(2019)
Leaving Meaning
(2019)
Singles from Leaving Meaning
  1. "It's Coming It's Real"
    Released: September 5, 2019
  2. "The Hanging Man"
    Released: October 10, 2019

Leaving Meaning (stylized as leaving meaning.) is the fifteenth studio album by American experimental band Swans. It was released October 25, 2019 on Young God and Mute.[1] A double album, Leaving Meaning's songs have been mixed separately for vinyl and CD releases, with the CD version of the album containing the original (and extended) mixes of the songs, as well as an additional track, "Some New Things".[2] As with all Swans' releases of the 2010s, Leaving Meaning was financed by a fundraiser album – in this case, What Is This? in March 2019.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.5/10[3]
Metacritic75/100[4]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[5]
Exclaim!7/10[6]
The Line of Best Fit9/10[7]
Mojo4/5 stars[8]
MusicOMH4/5 stars[9]
Pitchfork7.7/10[10]
Q4/5 stars[11]
Record Collector4/5 stars[12]
Slant Magazine3/5 stars[13]
Uncut8/10[14]

Upon its release, Leaving Meaning received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, Leaving Meaning received an average score of 75, based on 16 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[4] Andrew Perry of Mojo gave the album a favorable review, comparing it partly to The Burning World and writing, "Whatever the sonic weather, Gira's spiritual austerity remains unimpaired."[8]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
Far Out Magazine Top 50 Albums of 2019
47
Les Inrocks Top 100 Albums of 2019
98
Magnet Top 25 Albums of 2019
23
Mondo Sonoro Top 40 Albums of 2019
18
Rough Trade Top 100 Albums of 2019
19

Track listing[edit]

CD & digital version[edit]

All tracks are written by Michael Gira, except where noted.

Disc one
No.TitleMusicLength
1."Hums" 2:00
2."Annaline" 5:17
3."The Hanging Man" 10:48
4."Amnesia" 5:49
5."Leaving Meaning"The Necks11:21
6."Sunfucker" 10:43
Total length:45:58
Disc two
No.TitleMusicLength
7."Cathedrals of Heaven" 7:49
8."The Nub"The Necks12:01
9."It's Coming It's Real" 7:42
10."Some New Things" 7:09
11."What Is This?" 6:05
12."My Phantom Limb" 6:26
Total length:47:12

Vinyl version[edit]

All tracks are written by Michael Gira, except where noted.

Vinyl version (Side A)
No.TitleLength
1."Annaline"5:17
2."The Hanging Man" (shortened mix)9:55
3."Amnesia"5:49
Total length:21:01
Vinyl version (Side B)
No.TitleMusicLength
1."Leaving Meaning" (shortened mix)The Necks10:37
2."Sunfucker" (shortened mix) 10:22
Total length:20:59
Vinyl version (Side C)
No.TitleMusicLength
1."Hums" (shortened mix) 1:46
2."Cathedrals of Heaven" 7:49
3."The Nub" (shortened mix)The Necks10:59
Total length:20:34
Vinyl version (Side D)
No.TitleLength
1."It's Coming It's Real" (shortened mix)7:29
2."What Is This?"6:05
3."My Phantom Limb"6:26
Total length:20:00

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from the official Young God Records website:[1]

Swans

Previous Swans

Guests

  • Chris Abrahams – piano, organ ("The Nub", "Leaving Meaning")
  • Tony Buck – drums, percussion ("The Nub", "Leaving Meaning", "Some New Things")
  • Lloyd Swanton – double bass ("The Nub", "Leaving Meaning")
  • Anna von Hausswolff – choral vocals
  • Maria von Hausswolff – choral vocals
  • Ben Frost – electric guitar, vocals, synth
  • Baby Dee – lead vocal ("The Nub")
  • Fay Christen – vocals ("The Nub")
  • Ida Albertje Michels – vocals ("The Nub")
  • Jennifer Gira – vocals
  • Jeremy Barnes – santur, hi-hat, fiddlesticks, accordion, engineering
  • Heather Trost – violin, viola, fiddlesticks, engineering
  • Dana Schechter – bass
  • Cassis Staudt – accordion, harmonium

Other contributors[20]

  • Ingo Krauss
  • Peter Wright
  • Daniel Miller
  • Francesco Fabris
  • Howard Wuelfing
  • John Allen
  • Brandon Perry
  • Todd Cole
  • Paul A. Taylor
  • Jason LaFarge

Charts[edit]

Chart (2019) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[21] 73
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[22] 93
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[23] 156
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[24] 58
Scottish Albums (OCC)[25] 34
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[26] 70
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[27] 77

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "leaving meaning". YOUNG GOD RECORDS.
  2. ^ Bank, Mute. "Swans - leaving meaning. - Double Vinyl". Mute Bank.
  3. ^ "Leaving Meaning. by Swans reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Leaving Meaning. by Swans Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  5. ^ Simpson, Paul. "leaving meaning. – Swans". AllMusic. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  6. ^ Morin, Max (October 30, 2019). "Swans: Leaving Meaning". Exclaim!. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  7. ^ Lilly, Evan (October 31, 2019). "Swans' Leaving Meaning is a customarily monolithic work of experimental rock". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Perry, Andrew (November 2019). "Swans: Leaving Meaning". Mojo. No. 312. p. 89.
  9. ^ Shepherd, Sam (October 25, 2019). "Swans – Leaving Meaning". MusicOMH. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  10. ^ Sherburne, Philip (November 13, 2019). "Swans: Leaving Meaning". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  11. ^ Mongredien, Phil (January 2020). "Swans: Leaving Meaning". Q. No. 406. p. 114.
  12. ^ Hamnett, Alun (December 2019). "Swans – Leaving Meaning". Record Collector. No. 499. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  13. ^ Wilson, Seth (October 20, 2019). "Review: Swans's Leaving Meaning Depicts a Grim and Unrelenting Hellscape". Slant Magazine. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  14. ^ Wallace, Wyndham (December 2019). "Swans: Leaving Meaning". Uncut. No. 271. p. 32.
  15. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2019". Far Out Magazine. December 24, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  16. ^ "Notre Top 100 des meilleurs albums de 2019" (in French). December 11, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  17. ^ "Magnet's Top 25 Albums of 2019". Magnet. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  18. ^ "Los mejores discos internacionales de 2019 para Mondo Sonoro" (in Spanish). MondoSonoro. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  19. ^ "Albums of the Year". Rough Trade. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  20. ^ https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0397/1609/products/Various_Personnel_Swans_Leaving_Meaning_grande.jpg?v=1567525545
  21. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Swans – Leaving Meaning" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Swans – Leaving Meaning" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  23. ^ "Ultratop.be – Swans – Leaving Meaning" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  24. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Swans – Leaving Meaning" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  25. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  26. ^ "Top 100 Albumes – Semana 44: del 25.10.2019 al 31.10.2019" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  27. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Swans – Leaving Meaning". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 6, 2019.

External links[edit]