On March 19th, multimedia auteur Chad VanGaalen will release his latest offering, ‘World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener’, available worldwide through Sub Pop and in Canada from Flemish Eye.
Following previously released single and accompanying video “Samurai Sword,” today he shares second single “Nightwaves;” an upbeat track that swirls hypnotically around the mantra “Isn’t your machine calling to you?”
VanGaalen comments that it’s “about the endless news feed. Giving in to your digital calendar, when all that’s on your to-do list is checking the online updates. Like a William Gibson waking nightmare, boring marketed as sexy.”
On April 8th, VanGaalen will perform a live stream from his Yoko Eno studio via NoonChorus. The show will be available for viewing in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia at 7PM local time. Ticket holders will be able to stream the performance for 5 days following and will also be able to buy merch. You can purchase tickets for this event here.
‘World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener’ was written, performed, recorded, and mixed by VanGaalen at his studio in Calgary, Alberta, and mastered by Ryan Morey in Montreal, Quebec. It is now available for preorder through Sub Pop. LPs purchased through megamart.subpop.com, Flemish Eye (Canada), select independent retailers in North America, in the U.K. and in Europe will receive the album on orange gold vinyl with blue/red trails (while supplies last). There is also a new T-shirt design available.
More about ‘World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener’:
2020 was a terrible year for gardening. It was terrible for peppers, it was terrible for tomatoes, it was terrible for the condition of the soul. But Chad VanGaalen somehow raised a garden all the same: carrots and sprouts and broccoli and a revivifying new album, all of them grown at home. He likes to eat directly off the plant, he says—”I get down on my knees and graze. It’s nice to feel the vegetables in your face”—and the 13 songs on ‘World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener’ were harvested with just such a spirit: in their raw state, young and vegetal, at the very moment, they were made.
What that means is that the Calgary songwriter’s new album is a psychedelic bumper crop. A collection of tunes that does away with obsessiveness, the anxiety of perfectionism, in favor of freshness and immediacy — capturing the world as it was met while recording alone at home over a period of years. “Don’t overthink it,” VanGaalen told himself again and again, despite the push/pull love/hate of his relationship with songwriting. “I’m always trying to get outside of the song—but then I realize I love the song.”
This is a record that gleams with VanGaalen’s musical signatures: found sound, reverb, polychromatic folk music that is by turns cartoonish and hyperphysical—like ultra magnified footage of a virus or a leaf. Apparently, the LP began life as a “pretty minimal” flute record. (There’s only a vestige now, on “Flute Peace”—one of three instrumentals.) Later it became an electronic record “for a while” and finally, “right at the last second,” it “turned into a pile of garbage.” The good kind of garbage: glinting, useful, free. Music as compost—leaves, and branches ready to be re-ingested by the earth, turned into a flower.