Two years after Swans started, Jarboe joined the band and remained until it split up. Her charactersitic voice and her keen sense of musical artistry added another dimension to the skull-splitting grind of the earlier Swans. Her vocals, ranging from a warm southern blues touch to abrasive wails, can sometimes be hauntingly beautiful, sometimes annoying, but it always gets your attention.

Together with M. Gira, also her personal partner, she defined the sound of Swans and their side project Skin.

Her first solo release after Swans was released in 1998, and work on a follow-up has started, but has been delayed.

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