12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Chad VanGaalen loves the possibilities of lo-fi recording. It blurs the audio until it’s hard to comprehend what’s happening, and even something as simple and direct as an acoustic guitar can take on a mystical quality. It can also obscure voices enough to make a less-than-confident singer feel like Frank Sinatra and let a choir of voices sound like they’re singing from the bottom of a deep well. A song like “Lila” divides the believers from the nonbelievers. Those who hear an obscure noise should pass, while those who feel a spiritual pull to something greater should stick around. The sound is reigned in quite a bit for the steel guitar on the countryfied “Weighed Sin,” where the harmonica bleats with desperation as pure as VanGaalen’s tortured high-pitched call. “Monster” echoes the sounds of Daniel Johnston at his most haunted. “All Will Combine” features an idiosyncratic pop sound that’s the reason many fans became fans.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Chad VanGaalen loves the possibilities of lo-fi recording. It blurs the audio until it’s hard to comprehend what’s happening, and even something as simple and direct as an acoustic guitar can take on a mystical quality. It can also obscure voices enough to make a less-than-confident singer feel like Frank Sinatra and let a choir of voices sound like they’re singing from the bottom of a deep well. A song like “Lila” divides the believers from the nonbelievers. Those who hear an obscure noise should pass, while those who feel a spiritual pull to something greater should stick around. The sound is reigned in quite a bit for the steel guitar on the countryfied “Weighed Sin,” where the harmonica bleats with desperation as pure as VanGaalen’s tortured high-pitched call. “Monster” echoes the sounds of Daniel Johnston at his most haunted. “All Will Combine” features an idiosyncratic pop sound that’s the reason many fans became fans.

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3:19
5:03
4:20
3:23
3:00
3:02
2:44
3:38
3:01
3:33
3:03
3:17

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

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