Soft Airplane by Chad VanGaalen on Apple Music

13 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Chad Van Gaalen isn’t your ordinary singer-songwriter. Sure, he writes on keyboards and guitars, but from there he diverges from the usual path in unexpected ways. Each of his previous solo albums were culled from a rich catalog of existing home recordings but with his third album, 2008’s Soft Airplane, he sat down in his home basement studio with an old tape machine and boom box and deliberately put together this eclectic mix of lo-fi acoustic strumming and exotic synthetic keyboard magic. “Rabid Bits of Time” recalls the lonesome whine of Neil Young. “City of Electric Light” sounds like a man barely surviving the 4 a.m. hour, while “Old Man + the Sea” channels a primitive 3-dimensional world where the electronics haven’t quite been mastered and are likely to short out at a crucial moment. Van Gaalen loves these sudden distortions and interruptions; much in the spirit of acoustic Pink Floyd, there is always an unexpected room noise or ambient touch to bolster or upset the placid surface.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Chad Van Gaalen isn’t your ordinary singer-songwriter. Sure, he writes on keyboards and guitars, but from there he diverges from the usual path in unexpected ways. Each of his previous solo albums were culled from a rich catalog of existing home recordings but with his third album, 2008’s Soft Airplane, he sat down in his home basement studio with an old tape machine and boom box and deliberately put together this eclectic mix of lo-fi acoustic strumming and exotic synthetic keyboard magic. “Rabid Bits of Time” recalls the lonesome whine of Neil Young. “City of Electric Light” sounds like a man barely surviving the 4 a.m. hour, while “Old Man + the Sea” channels a primitive 3-dimensional world where the electronics haven’t quite been mastered and are likely to short out at a crucial moment. Van Gaalen loves these sudden distortions and interruptions; much in the spirit of acoustic Pink Floyd, there is always an unexpected room noise or ambient touch to bolster or upset the placid surface.

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2:59
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3:15
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2:51
3:35
2:32
3:24
3:40

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

  • ORIGIN
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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