It doesn’t have an immediately hooky opener (there’s no “Willow Tree” or “Clinically Dead”) but the warbly meander of “Cut Off My Hands” is warm and welcoming just the same. Equal parts trance-like and endearing, the fifth proper solo disc from Calgary’s Chad VanGaalen finds the musician/producer/animator in fine form, with most songs sitting in the vein of Diaper Island’s “Sara” in intimacy and delivery. The second half of the record is a little more accessible to the uninitiated, hosting the delightful “Weird Love”, the delicate “Cosmic Destroyer” and the chant-inducing “Monster”, making it a lovely little singer/songwriter disc from Canada’s most important lo-fi export since Eric’s Trip. Look for it on every top-ten list this December.
Published in Volume 68, Number 26 of The Uniter (May 7, 2014)