Needle Drop: Chad VanGaalen, “Monster”

Chad VanGaalan’s new opus Shrink Dust plays out like the hybrid child of Bright Eyes and Father John Misty. The Calgary born songwriter cites The Flying Burrito Brothers as a major influence for this release and doesn’t mind wearing the darkly tinged rodeo folk on his sleeve.

Chad’s output has been pretty quiet since 2011’s Diaper Island, which was overlooked by critics and consumers alike. That is all destined to change with the support of Sub Pop, who will release Shrink Dust on April 20th. The label calls Chad their patron saint of weird and, honestly, he does a good job living up to that title.

The self-produced LP is a stimulating listen with some compelling lo-fi sonic tricks employed with little need for mainstream approval. A little tape echo here, a group chorus there, and an overall abundance of strange beats and chaotic musical decisions that make repeated listens more enjoyable if you’re into that sort of thing.

His most recent single “Monster,” which seems to be a point-of-view description of a man turning into a mutant, was just made public and has been making the rounds with the Blogospherian in-crowd.

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