Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More free music from Chad VanGaalen

I think Chad might just be taunting us now. Only four days before the deliberations for the @PolarisPrize start and he drops a free EP of B-sides that not only show a complete different side to his work, but how quality Soft Airplane must be if some of these tracks are the ones left on the cutting room floor.

Obviously, you can’t call this collection CVG unplugged, but maybe it can be called unkept. He steps away from the pain staking process of layering and looping textures and delivers more straight ahead – again relatively – organic electro tracks. Even more shocking, if the opening few tracks indicate his mood, it appears CVG is also having a lot of fun. Clean beats and standard acoustic chords really come to life thanks to his skilled hands. The double vocals and peppy pop feel that kicks off the collection (Stuffed Animal) is one of the lightest tracks I can ever remember hearing from the Calgarian and his handles it with aplomb. The childlike sounds that form the core of Are You Sleeping? work well against the fuzzy guitar and are refreshing.

Some of the tracks make you almost wish that Chad wasn’t such a meticulous tactician. He's able to do so much with simple electronics and traditional strums that you can’t help but wonder where this style could go. Honestly, when he strips it all back and lets loose, the songs become undeniable. Microscopic World starts with a muddled electro loop and Velvet Underground-like simplicity and diction, but when he throws in the shit hot harmonica and tambourine and gives us a (albeit brief ) organic jam session he seals the deal.

Even more to the point are the tried and true sounding singer/songwriter feel of Did You Find Peace?; a song that softens all of VanGaalen’s questions about the insanity of life and fits perfectly with his thoughts on we are destroying the world or the organic orchestral feel of Soak in Visions. I'm not sure these would have fit into Soft Airplane, especially not after the number of listens I gave it, but they show that CVG has an almost unlimited range when it comes to creating music and the vibe that fits his subject matter.

Here's a couple tracks to sample - including a fantastic xylophone heavy number featuring Julie Doiron and Fred Squire - but grab this free download quickfast. It's better than 95% of the crappy bro-fi, chill-wave nonsense you are being bombarded with these days anyway.

MP3:: Chad VanGaalen ft. Julie Doiron and Fred Squire - I Wish I Was a Dog

MP3:: Chad VanGaalen - Soak in Visions


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Posted at 8:15 AM by ack :: 4 comments

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At 10:13 AM, Anonymous brian did sayeth:

yo, good lookin' out on the free chad vangaalen. i skimmed the article and i gotta say.. i don't think i can take you seriously. are you fucking kidding me with a sentence like this?

"It's better than 95% of the crap of the bro-fi, chill-wave nonsense you are being bombarded with these days anyway."

i dont even know what bro-fi or chill-wave is but statements like that make you seem like a fucking douchebag. sounds like you're really into thinking your music's better than everyone else's. good luck with that.


At 10:28 AM, Blogger ack did sayeth:

This post has been removed by the author.


At 10:35 AM, Blogger ack did sayeth:

Thanks for the comment. You seem a little angry about the whole situation. I hardly think "my" music is better than any other person's tastes. In fact, I know a lot of the bands I like most people don't.

We are quite aware our opinion means little and we know the people that read our site and why they do.

The truth is though, almost every blog out there is caught up in any band that plays the washed out, lo-fi sounds that people are calling "bro-fi" or "chill wave", and you see the same song over and over again on hype machine or whatever.

In this case, I think CVGs free b-sides are better, more original and worth hearing. Not sure that makes me a douchebag, but I'm also not 100% sure I care if it does.


At 10:04 AM, Blogger brian did sayeth:

thanks for the reply. i see your point, for sure. i guess i just didn't interpret your tone correctly. i read it as a kind of childish "our shit is hotter than your shit", but i see that wasn't your intention.. anyway, those b-sides are fucking stellar, i'm way hyped about the new album.

also, don't worry too much about this bro-fi shit.. this bubble will burst and we'll probably actually see a more diverse music community sometime down the road because of it. be easy


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