Chad VanGaalen: Shrink Dust (SubPop)

 |   |  <1 min read

Chad VanGaalen: Lila
Chad VanGaalen: Shrink Dust (SubPop)

Recorded in VanGaalen's own Yoko Eno studio in Calgary and described by him as his “country record” or some of the soundtrack to the animated film he's drawn, this 12-song collection opens with delicate acoustic guitar (fingers slipping on steel strings as loud as his voice) and him gently singing “cut off both my hands and threw them in the sand, watched them swim away from me like a pair of bloody crabs . . ”. Then things gets really strange.

VanGaalen plays nearly every odd noise here – weird guitar, keyboards, pedal steel, clattering percussion – but there's a romantic, ramshackle charm behind the references to self-mutilation.

He sounds as influenced by slacker astral-prog (Cosmic Destroyer and the soaring yearning of Where Are You?) as the Flying Burrito Brothers whom he cites (evident on Weighed Sin and Hangman's Son).

Lila is a beautifully straight-forward and musically lo-fi ballad, Monster is a wobbly Daniel Johnston-like nightmare vision, Evil is dark country and Leaning on Bells delightfully cheap psych-pop.

He might push the “eccentric” button a bit much, but if these are the songs I want the movie, the on-line Johnston/Chris Knox-like clips are enticingly bizarre.

Just like this.  

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Strand of Oaks: Eraserland (Dead Oceans/Rhythmethod)

Strand of Oaks: Eraserland (Dead Oceans/Rhythmethod)

Tim Showalter who is Strand of Oaks (that's also the band name) is very Old School when it comes to rock: he likes the dramatic chorus, the ascending guitar line, cannoning drums, the melodrama of... > Read more

Karen Hunter: Words and Groove (Rawfishsalad)

Karen Hunter: Words and Groove (Rawfishsalad)

Those who have followed Auckland singer-songwriter Hunter's long career will confirm that she has progressively moved from a kind of alt.indie outsider status with albums such as The Private Life... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE SON by PHILIPP MEYER

THE SON by PHILIPP MEYER

When the Comanche raiding party came to their Texas homestead, they stole the horses, raped and killed his mother and younger sister before his eyes, then dragged the young Eli and his older... > Read more

The Incredible String Band: Wee Tam and The Big Huge (1968)

The Incredible String Band: Wee Tam and The Big Huge (1968)

Sometimes for my own private amusement I will sing aloud The Incredible String Band's The Son of Noah's Brother in its entirety. All 16 seconds of it. The lyrics run, "Many were the... > Read more