So maybe I’m lying a little and this isn’t entirely new. To be quite honest, this album came out earlier this month with rave reviews and I’m tardy aboard the buzz train. But we’ll go with the ‘better late than never’ mantra. So here it is – Chad VanGaalen’s Soft Airplane.
This Calgary artist and musician has certainly come a long way since his days of recording songs in his bedroom. His previous album Skelliconnection (2007) was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, and Soft Airplane (2008) is quickly gaining momentum. While this man’s work can only be described as eclectic, the electro-psychedelic-folk sound (uh...) found on this third LP is all kinds of wonderful. TMNT Mask waxes poetic about everyone’s favourite mutants while showing that electronica can mix with harmonica, the folk staple making an unexpectedly appropriate appearance. Poisonous Heads is a work of genius, pairing VanGaalen’s frail albeit haunting voice with deep gurgling beats. And Molten Light deserves a mention, if only for the fact that it inspired this acid-trip of a video (VanGaalen's own animation):