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Swanlights Enhanced

Price: £7.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£7.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Frequently Bought Together

Swanlights + The Crying Light + Antony And The Johnsons
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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Oct. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Rough Trade Records
  • ASIN: B003TE9BJ0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,812 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Everything Is New 4:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. The Great White Ocean 4:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Ghost 3:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. I'm In Love 3:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Violetta0:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Swanlights 6:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. The Spirit Was Gone 3:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Thank You For Your Love 4:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Flétta 4:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Salt Silver Oxygen 3:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Christina's Farm 7:21£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

The new album by Mercury Prize winner Antony Hegarty and his band. The follow up to 'The Crying Light' features more of Antony's hauntingly beautiful vocals and a duet with Icelandic singer-songwriter Bjork.

BBC Review

Being blessed with a singing voice as unique and enchanting as that of Antony Hegarty’s must be something of a gift and a curse. On the one side, the emotion he is able to summon via his vocal cords is palpable, intense, brilliant; his 2005 breakthrough I Am a Bird Now hit like a sucker-punch, devastating in its contemplation of identity and personal freedom. But such is the gravitas at his command, it sometimes feels like everything he touches is imbued with a melancholy that can prove heavy-going. Follow-up The Crying Light was impressive, sure, but preoccupied by struggle – our impact on the environment, rifts in equality – it was a sombre, reflective work.

Swanlights succeeds exactly where you might not expect it to: Hegarty sounds content, revitalised. This is a record that revels in a sense of joy. Everything Is New opens proceedings, a sparse piano number that gradually builds into a full-bodied declaration of wonder. Following that is The Great White Ocean, a paean to family and human connection. Like an old folk song espousing unity, it is gorgeous; sad, but of a light touch and deceptive breeziness.

Which isn’t to say that Swanlights lacks in heft. Rather, it is warming to hear Hegarty sing so unencumbered by his demons, and the record is at its best when he is at his most transparent. Thank You for Your Love is a soulful, uncomplicated affair, which accelerates into urgent, expressive climax: "When I was lost in the darkness," Hegarty posits, "thank you for your love." I’m in Love is similarly joyous in nature, beautifully arranged strings and woodwind bolstering the central sentiment.

It’s not a unanimously bright affair, however. Björk’s guest spot on Flétta grants the two singers ample space to deliver something elemental, while the title-track is fantastically spooky – droning guitar lines, backwards vocals and all (Hegarty has referred to ‘swanlights’ as "the moment when a spirit jumps out of a body and turns into a violet ghost").

Still, I’d wager the kind of ghosts Hegarty seems concerned with here are of the friendly variety: impressions of lovers, friends, mentors; something to embrace rather than feel cowed by. While Swanlights ends on a note of uncertainty, it is one born out of deep ardour: acknowledgement that what we have here is precious, and ultimately worth celebrating.

--James Skinner

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By One more opinion on 16 Oct. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Simply stunning. Intelligent, mature songs that are not afraid to play with simplicity and repetition. There is no one quite like Antony.

There are some more typical piano and vocal led tracks like:
Everything Is New, starting quiet and building up.
The Great White Ocean is a simple and memorable tune, plaintive and beautiful with acoustic guitar (the most, in feeling, to I Am A Bird Now).
The Spirit Was Gone is deceptively simple and sparse.

Ghost and Salt Silver Oxygen are backed by a big orchestra. The sound is fuller and richer, but never overblown or syrupy. At times it recalls The Glare, the Michael Nyman and David McAlmont collaboration. The piano is minimalist and repeating, with high pitched vocals.

I'm In Love has a glorious swirling organ and pulsing bass. Kind of demented fairground jazz.

Violetta is a very short interlude on piano and strings. Hard to call it a track as it's only just over 30 seconds long.

Swanlights is a longer and more mature piece. A creeping intro of distorted vocals and piano (played backwards?), fills out with washes of guitar low in the mix. About half way through the sound expands with a string section and the vocal is delivered in a stuttering rhythmic way. An astonishing track.

Thankyou For Your Love starts slowly with a tremulous twisting vocal delivery, and then morphs into a big all horns blazing soul/motown finale.

Fletta, a duet with Bjork, although a wonderful track doesn't really fit on this CD. Bjork leads and Antony backs her word for word (in Icelandic I presume). So it's really Bjork's track. If you don't like Bjork, don't be put off because this is really a very nice abstract vocal. Gorgeous.

The CD ends with another long track, Christina's Farm.
Read more ›
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gideon on 11 Oct. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We need not have worried.

If the e.p. that preceded "Swanlights" was musically conservative and came accompanied by Antony-by-numbers b-sides and debatable covers (Lennon's "Imagine"), this new album sees Mr Hegarty carefully avoiding blandness and complacency.

It is a poetic work where his artistry contracts and expands at the same time: the lyrics are shorter, haiku-style, while the compositions are longer and more symphonic, on two occasions exceeding the six- ("Swanlights") and seven-minute mark ("Christina's Farm").

"Thank You For Your Love" remains the most accessible track, and the only foray into delicious R'n'B on this release. The rest consists of ballads, mostly piano and string-driven, with occasional afro-inflected rhythm patterns ("I'm In Love") and guitars that, usually acoustic, turn electric on the title-track and sound as if Johnny Marr in his "How Soon Is Now" phase were the guest star. The real guest though is Björk, who actually takes on lead vocals on the minimal, arctic "Flétta".

This is, surprisingly, all there is to say about a musical description of "Swanlights". What is definitely more complex and will never end is the effect that all these elements combined have on the listener. Once again we are in front of an extremely touching, human, fascinating album. Once again Antony's voice resonates with luminous joy and shattering sorrow, his lyrics as always open to multifarious interpretations, his artistic status still untouched after four albums and a media glare that would have simply turned others into straw puppets (or Robbie Williams).

Therefore we can only say: dear Antony, thank you for your art. Thank you for the light you bring into our lives.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Inverse midas on 14 Oct. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I, like most fans of Antony, was excited about this album. After all, the first three were incredible, and actually, The Crying Light had been his best yet. As far as I was concerned, the recent EP was good enough to keep me interested, but hardly a sign of Antony flexing his creative muscles, so I was expecting something magical to counteract something uncharacteristically dull as a taster.

Long-term fans, therefore, may be a bit disappointed. Songs like Ghost are powerful, majestic signs of Antony on form, but songs such as the title track go on far too long, incidentally, as does the first single, which is by far the weakest track on the album. Thank You for Your Love won't win any awards, largely because it sounds like every other pop song out there. Antony's vocals make a bit of a difference (his emotive warble makes anything sound a little distinctive), but if you swapped his vocals for someone like Joe McElderry or Will Young, would it make a huge impact on this particular song? Probably not.

That's the frustrating thing, really. It's an album of inconsistencies, and while that may work for new fans of Antony's work, it will underwhelm fans who got taken in by I Am a Bird Now and the previous CD. You'll enjoy most of it, but if you're expecting mindblowing, beautiful music which, to be fair, won this band the Mercury Prize against all odds, you will only find it on about 6 of the 11 songs here. Not bad, but certainly not gripping in the way the first three records were, from my perspective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. M. Kielty on 19 April 2011
Format: Audio CD
swanlights is not for light weights of life that enjoy agood pop song this is pure emotion simple angst and bitter frustration bourne from the treatment of our planet from the majority the passion is so strong sheer love and beauty fletta thank you for my love are my faves here just buy
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