Taken from “Strange Prison”, releases May 18th 2018 via Tiny Room Records.
Astral Swans’ sophomore album “Strange Prison” is a spellbinding portal into the psyche of acclaimed Calgary songwriter Matthew Swann. As the first artist signed to Arts & Crafts affiliate label Madic Records, his 2015 debut All My Favourite Singers Are Willie Nelson was described by NOISEY as “a stark, beautiful project; one that embraces darkness rather than shying away from it.” Strange Prison (due out May 2018 from Calgary’s Saved By Vinyl, Tokyo’s Moorworks, and Netherlands label Tiny Room Records) continues this philosophical searching with both morbid humour and compassionate character studies. Co-produced with Preoccupations’ Scott Munro, Dan Mangan, and Paul Chirka, recording engineer for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the result is Swann’s most sonically exploratory and emotionally resonant release to date.
After two years of extensive touring throughout North America, performing at house shows and on festivals stages with Hayden, Feist, Angel Olsen, Colin Stetson, and Chad VanGaalen (producer of Swann’s previous project Extra Happy Ghost), Swann approached the Preoccupations guitarist with a new batch of songs that focused on the nuances of human existence. Packed with swooning strings, shimmering keys, and spectral theremin, with guests such as drummer Dan Gaucher (Destroyer, Sandro Perri), Dillon Whitfield (Reuben and The Dark), Rena Kozak (Child Actress), and electronic artist Tigerwing, each song stands alone as a musical world within universal themes of darkness and light.