Cultivating a singularly unique voice in the world of songwriting and composition is a difficult prospect for all but the most naturally gifted of artists, and Calgary-based songwriter Chad VanGaalen certainly belongs in that category. Infiniheart, an epic tapestry of crunchy guitars, ethereal textures and expressive hooks, exists as a selection of the hundreds upon hundreds of intricate, visionary pop songs VanGaalen has crafted and self-recorded in his bedroom studio since 1994 with a Tascam 4-track, an Akai hard disc recorder and an assortment of analog gadgets. VanGaalen, a skilled animator and illustrator, began his journey busking Canadian streets and art events with a simple setup of drums and guitar before critical acclaim of his recorded material gave way to subsequent opening slots with Stars and the Pixies. As prolific as he is curious about the nature of sound and the mysteries of the heart, VanGaalen’s mystical, highly sympathetic characters thematically explore loss, passion and longing through sonic constructions rich in simplicity and peppered with glitchy beats, plaintive, vulnerable vocals and homemade saxophones and violins whittled by VanGaalen himself. Deeply moving and endlessly surprising, Infiniheart is VanGaalen’s first for Sub Pop.
1992’s Congregation, The Afghan Whigs’ third album, finds the Whigs’ soul and psychedelic influences shining through, and helped define the band’s sound for years to come. Until now, Congregation [...]