Rather humbly, this man would refuse the title of our modern Orpheus. But in actuality, Chad VanGaalen can charm the pants off any gender, and soothe any beast to stupor. It’s ridiculous how dynamic his voice makes the music surrounding it. You could bring him to a rap-battle, and he would change the rules just by being there. VanGaalen began with just simple tinkering in a bedroom studio, but with the sharing of what would be his debut Infiniheart in 2004, came an immediate record deal with Canadian Flemish Eye and the subsequent ascendance to the U.S. Sub Pop. It’s been rainbows ever since, with Skelliconnection in 2006 and the excellent, excellent Soft Airplane in 2008. That record changed my life, in ways that still surprise me to this day.
Soon though, I’ll have to deal with more upheavals, because on May 17th, his brand new album Diaper Island is released in the U.S. And, if your thoughts are quenched at the thought of waiting- fear not! There is a early preview available to you.
“Sara” sits a version of Chad down in a chair, right in front of you, and offers a tender strum-a-dum about a girl who occupies the safest part of a mind. It’s a much simpler song than we’re used to hearing from him, with a double layer of acoustic guitar and a backing vocal that will sound familiar to any fan. And if you’ve never heard the Canadian whistle, now’s your chance. Grab “Sara” below and count the days to May 17th along with me.
If you like his work, you should also dive into Black Mold, VanGaalen’s instrumental project.
(Diaper Island is available 5/17/11 from Sub Pop Records)