Swan Lake is Dan Bejar (Destroyer), Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown), and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes)... Canadians all. This trio of indie artists now easily boasts one of the most compelling and individually distinctive line-ups recording today. There's no telling if this will be a one-off album, but this song, "All Fires", from the album, Beast Moans [Jagjaguwar], has a drowsy, fireside patina... likely a result of the laidback west coast and summer cottage town recording sites.
+ all fires [mp3]
This is direct from the press release:
"Mercer and Krug's connection goes back the furthest, as Krug has always been an on-again, off-again member of Mercer's Frog Eyes, appearing on record with him as far back as the band's 2002 debut, "The Bloody Hand". The two are also former roommates.
When Bejar was putting a band together to flesh out his midi-based Destroyer album "Your Blues", he picked Frog Eyes as his backing band, and he also took them on the road as his opening act. They also recorded an EP together -- "Notorious Lightning and Other Works" -- with new versions of songs from "Your Blues". For the European tour promoting "Your Blues", Mercer and Krug were his band, and thus the seed was planted for Swan Lake to form; i.e., why not make this a real band and collaborate not just in a live setting but also in the process of songwriting? Before they chose a band name, Mercer would often refer to the new project as "The Songwriters Project".
Their full-length record features, among other things, beast moans, starling voices, cobra hi hats and arpeggiating pianos. The songs are great weaves, showcasing the famous and very distinctive songwriting styles of Bejar, Krug and Mercer. The sum is definitely greater than the parts, and at distinct points on the record a new "combined" style emerges that throws whole heaps of magic into the air, sounding like nothing else.
"Beast Moans" was recorded in a summer cottage town in Canada, and in Victoria, in a house that Krug and Mercer are familiar with and Bejar feels comfortable enough with. It was "self-produced". "Beast Moans" is a testament to friendship, eternal and otherwise."
Track-listing for SWAN LAKE's Beast Moans CD/LP (Jagjaguwar, JAG098)
1. Widow's Walk
2. Nubile Days
3. City Calls
4. A Venue Called Rubella
5. All Fires
6. The Partisan But He's Got To Know
7. The Freedom
8. Petersburg, Liberty Theater, 1914
9. The Pollenated Girls
11. Pleasure Vessels
12. Are You Swimming In Her Pools?
13. Shooting Rockets