Swans are offering a free download of "A Little God in My Hands" from their forthcoming album, To Be Kind (due out May 13 on Swans leader Michael Gira's Young God Records in the US and on Mute in the rest of the world). Featuring England's Cold Specks on backing vocals, "A Little God in My Hands" is unusual in Swans' catalog in that it has a quasi-funky—albeit stiff—gait, somewhat reminiscent of Can's "Soul Desert." Gira and company also sweeten the pot with what sounds like a chillingly beautiful mandolin motif, but they drop in a couple of apocalyptic noise freakouts to remind you of the band's '80s-era seething-hostility mode. Gira's incantations show that he's still agitated and obsessing over essentials and, frankly, he sounds more expressive than ever, even at this late date (he turned 60 last month).
To Be Kind—which also includes guest musicians Little Annie, St. Vincent, and Bill Rieflin will come out on triple vinyl, double CD, download, and 3-disc deluxe edition (including a live DVD) and will be supported by a year-long, global tour. Swans' May and June itinerary doesn't include a Seattle date.