Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:01

Hear and Now: Stream the new album 'Occasion for Song' by the Black Swans

Hear and Now: Stream the new album 'Occasion for Song' by the Black Swans http://misrarecords.com / Eve Searls
Written by Matt Champion
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Audio for this feature is no longer available. Browse all Hear and Now features.

Creating an album that is equal parts eulogy and tribute, the Black Swans reassembled to release their first album without co-founder Noel Sayre.

The Black Swans formed around the core of Jerry DeCicca on vocals and acoustic guitar and violinist/viola player Noel Sayre; the two employed a revolving cast of musicians for their various tours and recordings. Best known for low-key songs and cynical, sometimes humorous lyrics, they have toured the U.S. with acts such as Early Day Miners and Okkervil River.

Founding member Noel Sayre died of a heart attack after almost drowning in a pool accident in 2008 and his last recordings were present on the Black Swans' 2011 release "Don't Blame the Stars."

"Occasion for Song" is the first album the band has recorded without Sayre, and the overall theme of the album tells the story of DeCicca's path through the various stages of grief at the loss of his bandmate and friend. The album shares the same overall feeling of sadness and confusion that encompass Neil Young's "Harvest" and "After the Gold Rush," while DeCicca half-speaks his vocals, chronicling the events surrounding Sayre's death in songs like "Portsmouth, Ohio," describing his depression in "Bad Day," and glimpses of hope among the clouds with "Basket of Light."

Musically the album is classic Black Swans. The various musicians play their parts with a lot of space for the vocals to come through. Despite the sparse playing, the songs still have the same full sound that drove "Don't Blame the Stars" with the notable omission of Sayre's violin lines; that sonic space is filled in with lush and tasteful Hammond organ runs. I imagine that the decision to omit the violin from this album is DeCicca's way of choosing to carry on with the project without replacing his friend. That decision changes the sonic palette of the band but also shows that one can continue after a major loss without the overall feeling of something missing.

Just as any of us who have suffered a loss, the Black Swans have emerged from the feelings of absence and depression a little changed but with hope for the future.

"Occasion for Song" will be released on July 31, 2012 on Misra.

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

Graham Pagano

Mon June 23
Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-grill.jpg

KDHX Recommends

July
Saturday
12

Lizzie Weber at Harvest Sessions 2014

Lizzie Weber at Harvest Sessions 2014 Folk-pop singer-songwriter Lizzie Weber is this week's featured artist for Harvest Sessions. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, and runs May through October 2014....


July
Wednesday
16

Man or Astroman, Sallie Ford

KDHX welcomes Man or Astroman to the Firebird on Wednesday, July 16 at 8pm.   For more information, firebirdstl.com.


July
Friday
18

Billy Joe Shaver

KDHX welcomes Billy Joe Shaver to the Old Rock House Friday, July 18 at 8pm.   For more information, visit oldrockhouse.com.    


Online Users

4 users and 11920 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook