The Angels of Light are the current song writing device of Michael Gira of Young God Records. How I Loved You, follow-up to 1999's superb debut New Mother, commits to tape many of the songs from the now legendary first tour and others written since. It is a collection of love songs of sorts with references to various women and Gira's parents, whom grace the front and back cover of the digipack.
Each of the ten songs begins with Gira's inimitable voice - from whisper to caterwaul - and acoustic guitar and are then tastefully embellished by the band with lap steel, percussion, organ, bass, electric guitar, piano, accordion, melodica, female and male backing vocals. "Untitled Love Song" sways gently and lovingly with perhaps the most beautiful melody and straightforward, heartfelt lyric of Gira's career to date. "My True Body" gallops like a wild stallion in double time, Gira vehemently declaring "I can see the footsteps of Jesus!" "Song for Nico" is reminiscent of Swans with warm female 'la la la's. "New City in the Future" and "Two Women" are the epics, nearly 12 minutes apiece, both deeply moody with passages of mantra and crescendo. "My Suicide" swaggers like a Johnny Cash spiritual, Gira confessing "I hate you for your love, and I hate you for your sex" in a droll croon. "New York Girls" quietly assesses the qualities of the feminine urbanite, culminating with several minutes of instrumental expedition.
Overall How I Loved You is relatively soft and restrained save for a few moments, Gira's songs capturing and conveying a pure and natural emotion that's truly beautiful. It's yet another masterpiece. The Angels of Light will likely tour later this year. Check the new Young God site for information.