Chad Van Gaalen's distorted lo-fi orchestration. - Oh My Rockness

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Chad Van Gaalen's distorted lo-fi orchestration.

December 01, 2005
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Alberta, Canada's Chad Van Gaalen has been writing songs from the privacy of his bedroom for over 10 years. During this time, he has recorded hundreds of tracks, in which he sings and plays all the instruments (including guitars, pianos, clarinet, harp, bells, and violins). Somehow the word traveled from his secluded surroundings to Sub Pop, who fell in love with his hard-to-find self-released album, Infiniheart, and reissued it to widespread distribution and acclaim.

Van Gaalen's songs have that same painful honesty found in guys like Neil Young and Damien Jurado, coupled with the lo-fi distortion and complex orchestration of Sebadoh. At times his songs are contemplative, and at other times they are distorted and just plain loud. Always at play though, is Van Gaalen's intent to rework the "typical" pop song structure. Several of his songs may start out somewhat straightforward, but then will do an abrupt shift in tone and tempo several times, before finding its way to a sensible conclusion. Live, he has help from a full-band, bringing a big sound to a small stage.

Chad Van Gaalen plays Mercury Lounge this Friday, December 2nd (get tickets).

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