CHAD VANGAALEN - Soft Airplane B-Sides

It’s odd to attach a rating to a free, downloadable collection of b-sides. Releases like this usually get ignored for good reason, but Calgary musician Chad VanGaalen’s extraneous material – songs left over from 2008’s Polaris Prize-nominated Soft Airplane – deserves to be heard. VanGaalen has offered fans nine straightforward gems that play to his strengths: grungy folk-pop with an air of mischief and an eerie fascination with death. VanGaalen kicks things off with an ode to winter biking (Stuffed Animal), and before long, he’s spouting off some of his most ridiculous lines: “I wish I was a poltergeist, moving through solids and spying on lesbians” (I Wish I Was a Dog). This collection features VanGaalen at his most carefree and immature, and that gives it the staying power of his best work. Download it now at and see him live this Friday, Oct. 9 at the Park Theatre.

Published in Volume 64, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 8, 2009)

Related Reads