12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Chad VanGaalen loves the possibilities of lo-fi recording. It blurs the audio until it’s hard to comprehend what’s happening, and even something as simple and direct as an acoustic guitar can take on a mystical quality. It can also obscure voices enough to make a less-than-confident singer feel like Frank Sinatra and let a choir of voices sound like they’re singing from the bottom of a deep well. A song like “Lila” divides the believers from the nonbelievers. Those who hear an obscure noise should pass, while those who feel a spiritual pull to something greater should stick around. The sound is reigned in quite a bit for the steel guitar on the countryfied “Weighed Sin,” where the harmonica bleats with desperation as pure as VanGaalen’s tortured high-pitched call. “Monster” echoes the sounds of Daniel Johnston at his most haunted. “All Will Combine” features an idiosyncratic pop sound that’s the reason many fans became fans.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Chad VanGaalen loves the possibilities of lo-fi recording. It blurs the audio until it’s hard to comprehend what’s happening, and even something as simple and direct as an acoustic guitar can take on a mystical quality. It can also obscure voices enough to make a less-than-confident singer feel like Frank Sinatra and let a choir of voices sound like they’re singing from the bottom of a deep well. A song like “Lila” divides the believers from the nonbelievers. Those who hear an obscure noise should pass, while those who feel a spiritual pull to something greater should stick around. The sound is reigned in quite a bit for the steel guitar on the countryfied “Weighed Sin,” where the harmonica bleats with desperation as pure as VanGaalen’s tortured high-pitched call. “Monster” echoes the sounds of Daniel Johnston at his most haunted. “All Will Combine” features an idiosyncratic pop sound that’s the reason many fans became fans.

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