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    Under The Radar Magazine
  • Astral Swans (AB, Canada)

    Calgarian indie experimentalist Astral Swans and noise-pop multi-media maven Chad VanGaalen have joined forces for a Split EP, featuring three songs of each to be released on October 23 by Astral Swans independently and on lathe cut vinyl via Red Spade Records. The Split EP is the first in a series of sonically stranger releases from Astral Swans continuing into 2024. Birthed from a residency at a downtown hotel in Calgary came a set of experimental pop songs affixed to a moody techno sound-space that sound unlike anything else bearing the name Astral Swans. Debut single ‘Shine the Light Inside’ is a series of satirical affirmations from an AI to a tech billionaire whose rocket has gone off course a la’ Major Tom. The song peaks with a psychedelic sax freakout from Polaris Prize long-listed artist Jairus Shariff which hovers above the live bass guitar, and blown-out 808s. Chad VanGaalen and Matthew Swann met in the 00’s as mutual fans of each others music, DIY outsider artists in a burgeoning oil city, and this split hearkens back to their scrappy, improvisational roots. VanGaalen produced Swann’s first album as Extra happy Ghost!!! the ravishing Modern Horses. VanGaalen “we went through his vault a little” as Swann describes it, carefully selecting his self-recorded songs to put on the split including a cut featuring Alex Edkins (METZ, Weird Nightmare) on broken electronics, the mysterious ‘Frogman.’ Astral Swans has toured North America, Europe, China and Japan performing everywhere from house shows to festival stages, Swann has shared bills with a laundry list of artists including Angel Olsen, Feist, Malcolm Mooney (CAN), Grimes, Julie Doiron, Colin Stetson and & more.

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