I must admit I have a little crush on Chad Vangaalen. It happened after I saw him play Bottom of the Hill earlier this year. I’ve always been a big fan of his eccentric and sensitive style of music. His reputation as a recluse combined with his tendency for macabre subject matter had me expecting a very dark and dour character – maybe even surly. (He named his side project Black Mold, for Christ’s sake.) Needless to say, I was completely surprised by the affable, engaging and adorably funny man that entertained us that night. It didn’t make sense, but I liked it.
I also like his tenacity for continually putting new music forth into the world. He’s the Bradford Cox of Canada. And just like Mr. Cox, he’s been very busy this year. His acclaimed album Soft Airplane is up for Canada’s esteemed Polaris Music Prize (results to be announced September 20). He’s just released a debut album for his side project Black Mold, described as his electronic alter-ego. AND he’s released a free EP of B-sides from Soft Airplane. Whew, makes me tired just reading that.