Chad VanGaalen’s sixth Sub Pop record takes a charming indie rock album and seriously warps it. Light Information was written, played, and produced by VanGaalen with vocals from his daughters, Ezzy and Pip, on “Static Shape” and help from Ryan Bourne on bass. VanGaalen’s production of 12 songs is packed-full of ideas, from “bonafide grifters” to “shapeshifters”, however he is able to maintain a cohesion through it all.
The instrumentation in Light Information is almost as diverse as the lyrics. Monosynths and drum machines help create a new world in VanGaalen’s garage studio. Pitchfork has described the space as “equal parts garage studio and wacky inventor’s laboratory.” This project is pure VanGaalen, he crafted his own instruments — how many other artists have a handmade lego drum machine?
Longtime Chad VanGaalen fans won’t be disappointed, his lyrical artistry is very prominent throughout Light Information. Besides one instrumental track, “Prep Piano and 770”, the album is packed full of amusing yet insightful lyrics. The song “Old Heads” features VanGaalen singing over the cosmic jam that “No one cares / About their old heads / Because the new ones work just fine now don’t they / They have the same size mouth and eyes.”
The eerie atmosphere of “Host Body” is only enhanced by VanGaalen saying that “the parasitic demons / They can eat me from the inside out / I already hear them chewing.” VanGaalen is very good at making eccentric music with depth. This fun and strange album was made available in LP, CD, cassette, and digital formats on September 8th, 2017.
Recommended If You Like: Kurt Vile, Say Hi, Ugly Casanova
Recommended Tracks: 1 (Mind Hijacker’s Curse), 6 (Old Heads), 9 (Pine and Clover)
Do Not Play: 8 (Faces Lit)
Written by Miranda Roberts on 09/16/2017