If you love poetry—scratch that—if you love powerfully articulate, passionate prose meant to stir up your inner emotions and inspire you to stand up and create change, then you’ll love the brilliance that queer poet/activist Andrea Gibson serves up aplenty in Swarm.
Primarily recorded in a bedroom, Swarm also contains a handful of live tracks that allow the listener to taste the raw energy of her live performance.
The self-released album came out in 2004, yet the poignant words, occasionally accompanied by a backdrop of acoustic guitar, cut into you like knives and remain just as relevant today—particularly today. Gibson takes it all on—patriarchy, ignorance (the angry, powerful “Wal-Mart”), gender norms (the comedic “Sidewalk Chalk”)—without a bat of the eye, and takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions in just one piece.
Check it out, if not just for the jaw-dropping live track, “Dive,” a brutally honest peek at life and what Gibson pens “the most honest poem I’ve ever spoken in my life.” She speaks passionately of the horrors of life—the stuff that doesn’t make sense, “doesn’t rhyme”—from patriarchy and hate to anti-gay violence. Another gem is “Blue Blanket,” a fierce portrait of patriarchy: “I am generations of daughters, sisters, mother/our bodies battlefields/war grounds/beneath the weapons of your brother’s hands.”
This album will not disappoint. It will change your life.