Chad VanGaalen: Infiniheart; Sub Pop
Melancholy and sedate indie-pop / dance. Combines sad male vocals (Sufjan / Iron + Wine?), acoustic and guitars and dance beats. Lots of ghostly samples fade in and out for atmospheric effect. While the production is done well, the songs themselves seem weak upon closer listening. Surrealist lyrics with dark themes. The melodies aren’t particularly special, but still repeat ad nauseum. Fortunately, the samples, blips, clicks and clips keep things interesting. Vocals are stuck in staccato/choir boy range. “Light grunge”. Best Tracks: #1, #7, #16
FCC: #16 “M*t*e*f*c*i*g”
1) “Clinically Dead” – cool and quick bouncy guitar melody, cookie-cutter indie-pop vocals. Well-placed heavy guitars. Interpolish.
2) “After the Afterlife” – quivering vocals, softer folksy/alt-country feel.
3) “Kill Me In My Sleep” – sounds like the beginning of a prom slow-dance song, except for electro embellishments. Repetitive guitar. Dark irony between sweetness of voice and graphic description of murder. Dissonant bridge. Peaceful outro with bustling fading guitars.
4) “J.C.’s Head on the Cross” – Instrumental. Dance beat with catchy guitar melody that has the rhythm of a wind-chime on a breezy day. At about 2:00, new guitar melody arrives. Ends with a voice sample of an eager child telling a story.
5) “Somewhere I Know There is Nothing” – quick acoustic guitar with eerie bird-chirping sounding clip. Plaintive vocals with heavy reverb. Some strings. Ends with creepy strings.
6) “Blood Machine” –syrupy guitar with brush percussion. Choral supporting vocals.
7) “Echo Train” –catchy vocals and guitar build up. See mid 90s alternative rock/pop.
8) “Build a Home Like a Bee” –mixture of Belle + Sebastian chorus with pathetic undertones.
9) “I Miss You Like I Miss You” –Alt-country acoustic.
10) “Red Blood” – heavier guitars. Boring.
11) “1000lb Eyelids” –very quiet repeating trumpet sample with plodding guitar / drum combo, whilst VanGaalen whines over the whole affair.
12) “The Warp Zone / Hidden Bridge” –starts w/weird chirpy back sample with sleepy guitars and paranoid vocals. Cool dance beat at 0:49, but vocals resort to the banal mantra “don’t be sad”. Funky bass and percussion interaction.
13) “Chronograph #1” –slow beat with out of warped guitar. Finger-snap/clap percussion. Rambling vocals. Nicely behaving guitar line at 2:05.
14) “Sunshine Snare Hits” –backwoods guitar w/snare percussion. Pretty singing + flutes.
15) “Liquid + Light” –jazzy percussion, muted trumpet squeaks and saxophone on top of standard plucking and delicate vocals.
16) “Traffic” –melodious vocals and slightly scratchy guitars with pleasant percussion. Best track, but beware of FCC.