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L.A. Beat

Astral Swans to play Electric Eye Music Festival fundraiser

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Though Matthew Swann’s first Astral Swans’ CD has little to do with its namesake, “Willie Nelson,” he is psyched about the new music “ All My Favourite Songwriters are Willie The Astral Swans play Lethbridge, March 23. Photo submittedNelson.”
“ Willie Nelson is more of an indirect influence. There’s no real connection to him though I perform ‘ Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” and I  like ‘Darkness on the Face of the Earth,” he said.

“ But I was playing with the idea of absurdism with the title,” called  Swann from a cab to The Edmonton airport where he will catch a fight to Kamloops where he will wind down a long tour with Dan Mangan and Blacksmith and Hayden.

He will end that tour in Vancouver before heading home to Alberta to play an Electric Eye Music Festival fundraiser at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 23 with Hush Pup and Backhomes.

 The new album  was released , Feb. 24 on Dan Mangan’s boutique label Madic Records.

“It’s been done for a year, so it’s nice to have it out. I got it pressed on vinyl,” he said.
 He recorded it with producer Brad Hawkins.

 It is a departure from his previous works.
“It’s not as noisy as my previous set of albums with Extra Happy Ghost. This is more influenced by ’60s psych rock and ’90s and 2000s  experimental indie rock,” he said.
 He will be joined on stage in Lethbridge by drummer Joe Ramirez, who he took over to Europe with him in the Fall.
“It’s the first time I’ve actually toured there, but I’ve been there a lot,” he said.

 He has been busy touring  solo while opening for Dan Mangan.

“ It’s been great. I’ve been playing bigger venues with them l than I’m used to like loud bars. I’m playing rooms like like the Jack Singer Hall (in Calgary). It’s been quite the test of fear because the audiences are listening. They aren’t talking over of you like they do in a bar,” he observed adding audiences were just as receptive in Europe.

“They were amazing. They really listen to you and  the promoters over there treat you like gold,” he enthused.

He is back home for a few months after Lethbridge, working day jobs as a librarian as well as a bartender.

“ I’ve been touring a lot . I was gone in the Fall and came back for December and January and I’ll be back for a couple of months after Lethbridge,” he said.
 Astral Swans play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 23 with Hush Pup and  Backhomes at approximately 9 p.m. Admission is by donation.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 March 2015 10:17 )  
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