Arcade Fire and Great Lake Swimmers coming out of Canada, you can’t ignore our friendly neighbors to the north. There’s just too many good indie artists coming from there. Chad VanGaalen is no exception.
Chad is a musician and animator from Calgary, Alberta. Releasing two LPS since 2005, Chad’s newest album, Soft Airplane, was released in September 2008. When I was introduced to this album about 6 months ago, I fell in love with it instantly. With his music weaving in and out of different genres and sounds, Chad really seeks to display his personality and sheer talent through his songs.
I guess you could call Chad a “one-man band”; his songs are laced with guitar, banjo, percussion, synthesizers, and other home-made instruments that he has made. But all these instruments don’t clutter the songs; they just work together, and they do it well.
Chad uses all these instruments to dabble into different genres. You could listen to his banjo or guitar-driven folk songs “Willow Tree” or “City of Electric Light”, or if you’re more into synth-driven pop, try “Phantom Anthills” or “TMNT Mask”, which sound like more focused versions of a kid toying with his Casio keyboard samples.
All of his songs are complemented by his thoughtful lyrics and his high, whispy voice. His voice could be described as a cross between Devendra Banhart and Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes.