While alienation has always been a theme of VanGaalen’s music, Light Information draws on a new kind of wisdom–and anxiety–gained as he watches his kids growing up. “Being a parent has given me a sort of alternate perspective, worrying about exposure to a new type of consciousness that’s happening through the internet,” he says. “I didn’t have that growing up, and I’m maybe trying to preserve a little bit of that selfishly for my kids.”
The song “Old Heads” is a sci-fi space anthem to technology that constantly replaces itself, proving both necessary and unnecessary at the same time. It’s also a jangly pop gem, a trip through the fantastical that is ultimately warm and relatable.
Light Information features the standouts “Old Heads” [listen on Spotify], “Pine & Clover,” and Mind Hijacker’s Curse.” As always, VanGaalen wrote, played, and produced all of the music on the album (save Ryan Bourne’s bass part on “Mystery Elementals” and vocals on “Static Shape” from his young daughters Ezzy and Pip), and designed the cover art. Light Information emerged from the experimental instruments that fill VanGaalen’s Calgary garage studio. Among them is a beloved Korg 770 monosynth, which VanGaalen coveted for years before fixing one up and devoting a lot of recent energy to recording “duets” with it. One of these, “Prep Piano and 770,” is the lone instrumental on Light Information, more atmosphere and chord bursts than the rest of the album’s hooky rock narrative.
“If I was going to go out and buy a record, I would probably want it to sound only like that,” says VanGaalen. “That one’s for me.”
Throughout the dark-wave reverb of Light Information are stories of paranoia, disembodiment, and isolation–but there’s also playfulness, empathy, and intimacy.
Light Information is available for preorder now (CD / LP / DL / CS) from Sub Pop and Flemish Eye. LP preorders of the album from megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on crystal clear vinyl (while supplies last).
Light Information Tracklisting:
1. Mind Hijacker’s Curse 2. Locked in the Phase 3. Prep Piano and 770 4. Host Body 5. Mystery Elementals 6. Old Heads 7. Golden Oceans 8. Faces Lit 9. Pine and Clover 10. You Fool 11. Broken Bell 12. Static Shape
Chad VanGaalen has also scheduled fall 2017 international tour dates in support of Light Information. The dates currently span October 15th in Utrecht, Netherlands at EKKO through December 8th in Montreal, Quebec at The Fairmount. The 30-city trek will include stops in London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Paris, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, and Brooklyn. Support for the North American shows (select dates) will come from NE-HI (November 11th-19th) and Un Blonde (December 1st-8th). Please find a complete list of dates below.
Europe Oct. 15 - Utrecht, NL - EKKO Oct. 16 - Rotterdam, NL - Rotown Oct. 17 - London, UK - Oslo Oct. 18 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club Oct. 20 - Hamburg, DE - Molotow (Sky Bar) Oct. 21 - Copenhagen, DK - Stengade Oct. 22 - Berlin, DE - Kantine am Berghain Oct. 24 - Düdingen, CH - Bad Bonn Oct. 25 - Lyon, FR - Le Sonic Oct. 26 - Amiens, FR - La Lune des Pirates Oct. 27 - Paris, FR - Point Ephemere Oct. 28 - Nantes, FR - SOY Festival Oct. 29 - Tourcoing, FR - Le Grand Mix Oct. 30 - Luxemburg, LU - Rotondes Oct. 31 - Gent, BE - BIB
North America Nov. 09 - Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret Nov. 10 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern * Nov. 12 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir * Nov. 14 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel * Nov. 15 - Los Angeles, CA - Satellite Club * Nov. 16 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar * Nov. 17 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar * Nov. 19 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive * Nov. 20 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court Nov. 30 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace Dec. 01 - Detroit, MI - El Club ** Dec. 02 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle ** Dec. 03 - Indianapolis, IN - The Hi Fi ** Dec. 05 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe ** Dec. 06 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade NYC ** Dec. 07 - Allston, MA - Great Scott ** Dec. 08 - Montreal QC - Fairmont** *w/ NE-HI **w/ Un Blonde
Shabazz Palaces’ Sub Pop labelmate, Chad VanGaalen, is more than just an insanely prolific and creative songwriter and performer, he’s equally accomplished as an illustrator and animator. He’s done many videos for himself, but he’s also directed videos for other Sub Pop artists like J Mascis and The Head and the Heart. All of which brings us to his latest directorial effort, the music video for Shabazz Palaces’ Lese Majesty track, “Forerunner Foray”, which Gorilla Vs. Bear premiered today.
Take a couple minutes to watch the latest visual effort from Chad VanGaalen, the magical brain behind a number of fantastically weird and wonderful Sub Pop records and also the animated music videos that accompany many of his songs including this one for the Shrink Dust track, “Monster”, you won’t be disappointed.
Chad VanGaalen’s latest and greatest record, Shrink Dust, has been pelted with many favorable accolades from the music glitteratti in the short time that it’s been available on record store shelves, and with good reason, it’s really G-D great (don’t take my word from it, read some of the accolades below). Chad recently took to the Seattle-based radio station,KEXP, for a live, in-studio performance, and true to form, Chad delivered an amazing, beautiful, charming, funny, and weird one-man-band-style show. Check that out in the embedded player.
See Chad with a full band at any one of these fine venues:
June 15 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios* June 17 - San Francisco, CA - Brick & Mortar Music Hall* June 18 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo* June 19 - Oakland, CA - LEO’S* June 20 - Eugene, OR - Sam Bond’s Garage* June 21 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern* June 22 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett* Aug. 31 - North Dorset, UK - End of the Road Festival Sep. 01 - London, UK - Oslo Sep. 02 - Paris, FR - Point FMR Sep. 04 - Gent, BE - DOK Sep. 06 - Vlieland, NL - Into the Great Wide Open Festival Sep. 07 - Hamburg, DE - Aalhaus Sep. 08 - Berlin, DE - Kantine Berghain Sep. 09 - Arhus, DK - Radar Sep. 11- Stockholm, SE - Stacken Sep. 12 - Copenhagen, DK - Ideal Bar Sep. 13 - Cologne, DE - King Georg Sep. 14 - Amsterdam, NL - DOK Sep. 15 - Tilburg, NL - Incubate
* w/ Cousins
What People Have Said About Chad VanGaalen’s Shrink Dust:
“His latest, Shrink Dust,
is possibly his best, and certainly his most confident…Chad VanGaalen’s
world is weird, but never just for weird’s sake—his creations spring
from deep inside the singular, twisted mind of their creator, and Shrink Dust is the closest we’ve come yet to getting inside his head.” [Review] - Pitchfork
“It’s like if Dali and Kafka got lost at an MGMT concert…Ever the tinkerer, Shrink Dustexpands
VanGaalen’s immense talents to even more uncharted, exciting territory.
The record deals with some hefty topics, but they don’t seem as
insurmountable through VanGaalen’s lens.” [Review] - Consequence of Sound
album that wears its weirdness on its sleeve, but it’s the best kind of
weird, and a joy to listen to.” [Review, 8/10] - FILTER
something deeply relatable about the flawed protagonists of ‘Weighed
Sin’ and ‘Monster’, whose callow whimsy masks a more disquieting
melancholia. This madcap might raise the occasional laugh, but inside
he’s crying, and for all your voyeuristic unease, you won’t be able to
look away. [Review, 8/10] -NME
it’s eccentrically charming and something that he proves elsewhere time
and again, with the cooed loveliness of the ominously titled ‘Evil’, as
well as the swirling refrain and sprawling, gossamer of inﬂuences found
on ‘Cosmic Destroyer’, making for wondrously ﬂoaty highpoints.” [Review, 8/10] -Loud & Quiet
those who like their space-age folk rock with a strong sense of
humility, it doesn’t get much chiller than this.” [Review, 8/10]- Exclaim!
Gaalen is basically a visionary with a guitar, a lot of oddball
instruments and recording gear, and this album is meditative and spooky,
an appealing continuation of his fire-hose like output.” [Review] - Relix
takes you on something of a journey, veering from country to garage
rock to something almost literally out-of-this-world.” [Review, 4 / 5] -Music OMH
Chad VanGaalen’s fifth full-length record, Shrink Dust, came out just over two weeks ago. That’s five record on Sub Pop, which, puts him in rare company with the likes of Mudhoney (and maybe one or two other artists) for number of records out on our label. What that means: we LOVE working with Chad VanGaalen (and presumably that he at least tolerates us (Which, to be fair, is a challenge; we’re an insufferable lot)). We put out records by musicians whose work we love and who give us with the goal of sharing that work with as many people possible, and in that spirit, we give you Chad VanGaalen: A Beginners Guide, a collection of Chad songs thoughtfully prepared by the employees of Sub Pop, some of our other artists who are fans of Chad, and some friends of the label that refused to be silenced on the matter of just how fucking wonderful the music of Chad VanGaalen is. With that said, take to one of these streaming music services and listen to Chad’s music, if you’re anything like us, you’ll feel enlightened.
Chad VanGaalen’s fifth full length record, Shrink Dust, is just over one week from its release, which, thanks to the sorcery-like powers of the internet, that means that you can listen to the record in its entirety now! For free! And you should, because it’s his best, which is saying a lot. And then you should head on over to the Sub Pop internet webstore, The Mega Mart, and pick up your copy on CD, LP, or digital.