“I will never forget, even when my mind is gone.”
When Astral Swans - a new collaboration between Matthew Swann and under appreciated, sound sorcerer Lorrie Matheson - delivers this unassuming nugget, it hits like a sledgehammer.
I left the song looping for hours. Somehow, it became a portal into my Dad’s mind as he waited for a surgery that would hopefully remove any of the cancer in his brain, but could just as easily remove birthdays, memories, names or emotions. It gave me hope that he’d still be in there, even if everything about the man I’ve known my entire live changed in a heartbeat.
“Holly” is a dark, two-minute lo-fi pop excursion built from drums, guitar, electronics and open space, but it feels like more than that. Swann holds onto this moment with a vice-like grip, as if giving up on this love is like letting life slip away forever.