13 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Calgary singer-songwriter Chad Van Gaalen has recorded several impressive solo albums where the ambitious eclecticism made them sound incredibly weird and personal. Diaper Island is another encouraging exploration in sound. Garage rock is apparently on his mind. There’s a great raunch to “Peace On the Rise.” “Heavy Stones” sounds like broken guitars are accompanying Beach Boys-like vocal lines. “Sara” is a touching acoustic number that expands into a punk version of the Association. “Blonde Hash” captures the irreverent mayhem of the Fugs. “Freedom for a Policeman,” “Can You Believe It?” and “Wandering Spirits” are more untutored garage-rock where the vocals throw themselves into gleeful cacophony. There’s such joy here that the deliberate lack of polish makes the album sound even more off-the-cuff than it likely is. The addition of the Neil Young-reminiscent bonus track “You Changed Your Name” is a fitting end to an album with such an anarchic spirit.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Calgary singer-songwriter Chad Van Gaalen has recorded several impressive solo albums where the ambitious eclecticism made them sound incredibly weird and personal. Diaper Island is another encouraging exploration in sound. Garage rock is apparently on his mind. There’s a great raunch to “Peace On the Rise.” “Heavy Stones” sounds like broken guitars are accompanying Beach Boys-like vocal lines. “Sara” is a touching acoustic number that expands into a punk version of the Association. “Blonde Hash” captures the irreverent mayhem of the Fugs. “Freedom for a Policeman,” “Can You Believe It?” and “Wandering Spirits” are more untutored garage-rock where the vocals throw themselves into gleeful cacophony. There’s such joy here that the deliberate lack of polish makes the album sound even more off-the-cuff than it likely is. The addition of the Neil Young-reminiscent bonus track “You Changed Your Name” is a fitting end to an album with such an anarchic spirit.

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About Chad VanGaalen

Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, singer/songwriter Chad VanGaalen creates a delightfully soothing indie rock sound. His airy falsetto is part Christopher Cross and part Thom Yorke, and fans of Broken Social Scene, Band of Horses, and Destroyer should find the charm in VanGaalen's wild imagination. Since 1998, the quirky VanGaalen has drafted hundreds of songs well-tailored for indie rock fans old and new. In 2004, the Calgary label Flemish Eye gathered some of these songs together for VanGaalen's first album, Infiniheart. Sub Pop inked VanGaalen to an American deal a year later and reissued a reassembled version of Infiniheart. Skelliconnection arrived in August 2006. Soft Airplane, his second album for Sub Pop, was released in September 2008, and featured a cartoon video for "Molten Light" that he illustrated and animated himself. In 2009, VanGaalen released the largely instrumental and electronic-oriented experimental album Snow Blindness Is Crystal Antz under the name Black Mold. After producing two albums for Flemish Eye labelmates Women, VanGaalen returned with Diaper Island in 2011. A year later, he began working on an animated science fiction feature called Translated Log of Inhabitants. Preceding its release, he issued his fifth album, Shrink Dust, in April 2014, which was partially a soundtrack to the film. VanGaalen returned in 2017 with his sixth album, Light Information, which explored themes of alienation and anxiety. ~ MacKenzie Wilson

HOMETOWN
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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