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Album Review:Chad Van Gaalen - Soft Airplane

  • Written by  Kenny McMurtrie

Definite shades of Neil Young in these 13 tracks from Mrs. VanGaalen's wee boy. As the album progresses though other influences make themselves evident and it builds beautifully all the way through its length to become one of the best home-recorded releases I've heard in quite some time (yeah - he lives in a basement in Calgary and seems to spend a lot of time there).

My personal favourite is track three 'Cries Of The Dead' - basically about what may or may not be a dog getting beaten in another basement. Dark stuff but delivered in a homely style. A rockier guitar sound is then in evidence from the start of song four onwards and the pace picks up some too. With the introduction of some synth and drum machine to the mix I was reminded a bit of The Folk Implosion and also MGMT. He's got a good line in song names too - others include 'Poisonous Heads', 'Bare Feet On Wet Griptape' and 'Rabid Bits Of Time'. 

Given the basement dwelling thing fans outside of Canada, or at the most North America, may have limited chances to see him play live at any point but on the strength of this release (out on Sub-Pop in non-Canadian territories) I'd say he'll be adding to his following nonetheless and that his two earlier albums (2005's Infiniheart and 2006's Skelliconnection) are also going to be worth your while getting ahold of.

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