​Astral Swans Central United Church, Calgary AB, June 22

​Astral Swans Central United Church, Calgary AB, June 22
Photo: Steve Louie
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Hometown indie rocker Matthew Swann (also known as Astral Swans) and his band were the first band to take the stage at Central United Church yesterday evening (June 22) as part of Sled Island.
 
Swann's witty banter entertained the audience in between his simple yet quirky tracks. Topics included witnessing a cannibalistic pigeon while on vacation in London, and a crack about the privilege of his band: "four middle-class white men." His and his bassist's distinctly percussive playing led the audience through a selection of tracks from his 2015 release, All My Favourite Singers Are Willie Nelson, during which Swann's band wove subtle lines around his vocals and guitar.
 
Notable moments of the set including a cover of a Wolf Parade song and a request from his mother — for a track about casual sex, no less. Swann's strength lies in his use of language, both in his lyrics and the anecdotes he tells onstage. It appears that he is still finding his voice musically, but if last night was any indication, he's well on his way.