CD Review: Swan Lake’s ‘Enemy Mine’

By Holly Elliott |

On March 24, Canadian indie supergroup Swan Lake released their second album, Enemy Mine. The album is quite a departure from Swan Lake’s edgier, more avant-garde sound from their 2006 release Beast Moans. For Enemy Mine, the band was on a mission to prove that they could also write more traditional, lyrically based songs, and the results are rather impressive.

While at times the album’s theatrical atmosphere may seem a bit contrived, it is still quite surprising that Swan Lake managed to transform what band member Carey Mercer described as the sound of “a boar dying in a tar pit” into a more composed and accessible phase of their musical career.

The album begins with “Spanish Gold, 2044,” a song with layered sound and the band’s signature wails and moans to assist with the dark instrumental melody. Then it moves into Daniel Bejar’s more catchy sounding songs, like “Heartswarm” and finally gets into Spencer Krug’s more sparse but equally well-crafted songs such as “A Hand at Dusk,” which is so fragile it may put Swan Lake fans in a pleasant stupor.

Unlike the mixed reviews from the underwhelming Beast Moans, Enemy Mine is certain to impress even the most discerning music critics, thanks to the band’s more sophisticated approach to creating a record.

Mercer is the frontman of indie rock band, Frog Eyes, Bejar is in the band Destroyer and the more popular indie supergroup, The New Pornographers and Krug is frontman of the band Wolf Parade. The three have been making music together since 2005, originally under the moniker “Thunder Cloud” until they discovered another band had already claimed that name. Swan Lake had originally intended to name their new album Before the Law, after a popular Franz Kafka parable; however they scrapped this idea after deciding their album should sound less pretentious and literary.
Swan Lake hasn’t officially announced any prospective tour, but they are expected to announce some tour dates later in the summer. To keep track of the trio’s plans, join their mailing list or listen to some highlights of the album, visit

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