Monday, January 7, 2008 reviews The Black Swans' "Change!"

huge thanks to James Hunter, MacKenzie Wilson, and the entire staff!

The Black Swans
(La Société Expéditionnaire)

Clinging to old, weird America with an extremely fragile grip.

The Black Swans

"All of my people think I look strange," confesses singer/songwriter/ guitarist/producer Jerry DeCicca with an inscrutable weariness, on "New Face," one of 12 unhurried folk ballads on this Ohio band's second album. It's seemingly a reference to something he did for love, but it's also about a general bewildered despair that's more clearly articulated by Noel Sayre's swooning violin. On songs like "Hope Island," "Coats," and the mesmerizing "Shake," the Swans blend the mysterious and the plainspoken to create a sort of uncheery Appalachian chamber music. "Electricity sits on the hill," DeCicca quietly exclaims in "Shake," as if he's observing an alien force of modern life. At its best, Change! evokes that melancholy story of a man adrift. JAMES HUNTER

Now Hear This:
The Black Swans - "Shake" DOWNLOAD MP3