Chad VanGaalen - World's Most Stressed Out Gardener Vinyl LP
Chad VanGaalen World's Most Stressed Out Gardener Vinyl LP
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."
Throughout these 40 minutes, VanGaalen floats from mania to solace to oblivion, searching for zen in all the wrong places. "Turn up the radio / I think we're dead," he sings on "Nothing Is Strange"; or, on the inside-out rocker "Nightmare Scenario": "You're stressed out when you should be feeling very well." The singer's mental landscape is rotting and redemptive, beautiful in spite of itself – and his soundscapes reflect this fertile decay.
Chad VanGaalen World's Most Stressed Out Gardener Track Listing:
1. Spider Milk
2. Flute Peace
4. Where Is It All Going?
5. Earth From a Distance
7. Plant Music
8. Nothing Is Strange
9. Inner Fire
10. Golden Pear
11. Nightmare Scenario
12. Samurai Sword
13. Water Brother
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