It’s been a few years since we’ve really heard anything from Chad Vangaalen, and the void has been noticeable, at least to myself. In my opinion, Vangaalen released one of the best albums of 2011, not to mention one of my favorites that has held a place of heavy rotation on my turntable since before it saw official release, the strangely titled “Diaper Island.” I can’t help but think of him as the Canadian Steve Albini, not because of his outspoken nature or aggressive attitude (because he is neither outspoken nor aggressive), but because his production style is immediately recognizable as his own. His fingerprints are all over Women’s “Public Strain,” undoubtedly one of my favorite albums of all time. And since “Diaper Island”s release the only thing that we’ve gotten was an EP (an EP, by the way, that was as long as some albums, and just as good) released through Altin Village, which is also worth checking out if you haven’t already.
The new track, “Where Are You?” features Vangaalen’s quavering and distant voice that echoes through the din of reverberant drums and guitars wrapped up in ominous synth tones. It’s doing the job that it is supposed to do, that being getting me excited to hear more new material. His forthcoming album, “Shrink Dust” (cover art seen above) is set to be released on April 29th on SubPop. And speaking of that “Green Corridor” EP, from the tracklisting posted to Consequence of Sound, “Weighed Sin,” the EP’s standout track, will appear on “Shrink Dust.”
As an addendum, as I was searching through the internet for this post I came across some stuff of Vangaalen’s that I hadn’t heard before. Apparently after “Diaper Island” was released, an EP was also released containing out-takes. “Your Tan Looks Supernatural” is posted to the artist’s bandcamp page that apparently hasn’t been updated in several years. There isn’t anything too exciting here, but the songs are worth a listen for the completists out there. That one can be downloaded immediately for as little as $5 CAD. You can listen to that below.
And finally, there will be a very small tour in support of “Shrink Dust” beginning in May in the US. Details about that can be found at the Consequence of Sound post.