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.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Robert Ithiel ,

Syd Young

He's like some gifted, twisted offspring of Neil Young and Syd Barrett creating the most interestingly eclectic music I've ever heard.

Long May You Run, Chad... You Effervescing Elephant!

mattehanna ,

Zot Dust

It's always a pleasures journey to listen and see the artistic works of Chad VanGaalen. Like a psychedelic lollipop filled with zot dust, it crackles and tastes sweet within the layers of his sounds-I cannot wait to hear the rest of the album, I'm calling it out -as an instant favorite. Enjoy.

rustyrust ,

Best album of the decade!!!

Shrink Dust is a masterpiece from start to finish, and Chad's most accessible release to date. There is another world that we can't see yet and this collection of songs is a temporary hall pass. The ghost of Gram Parsons haunts the dusty country tunes as synthesizers bubble in the background like some primordial ooze. Guitars jangle and harmonicas moan. Chad's pedal steel playing is gorgeous and the melodies will stick to your head. The stories will make you cry and the characters will follow you around. I hope you have room for guests at your place.

More By Chad VanGaalen

You May Also Like