File this under “Bands to Watch.” Alberta Cross is poised to release their much anticipated full length debut, Broken Side of Time, on September 22. Their EP, The Thief & The Heartbreaker, was on heavy rotation for me all last year. I was immediately attracted to lead singer/guitarist Petter Ericson Stakee’s Kurt Cobain-like desperation and Neil Young Americana rock vibe. Their set at SXSW this year was one of my favorite live performances as well.
Stay tuned for tour dates. In the meantime, you can download a free copy of the MP3 for “Leave Us and Forgive Us” on their website now.
London-based indie pop group, Their Hearts Were Full of Spring, have just issued their first seasonal double a-side single, Winter, featuring covers of Fleet Foxes’ ‘White Winter Hymnal’ and Neil Young’s classic ‘Winterlong’.
There’ll be one double-a-side single released every season for the next year – four in all, starting with Winter and all tracks will be free to download exclusively from God Is In The TV Zine.
Artist: Chad VanGaalen Album: Soft Airplane File Under: Indie Rock Recommended if You Like: Neil Young, Beck Featured Track: Willow Tree
I once heard Chad VanGaalen described as the schizophrenic son of Neil Young. And that completely made sense to me. The comparisons to Neil Young are obvious artistically and personally. Both are famously recluse and seem to favor the self-sufficiency of being a one-man band with a penchant for delicate, wavering vocals and a homemade aesthetic.
It’s here that the similarities end, however. As Chad is a much darker character. His lyrics are renown for being morbid and macabre. He seems fascinated by his own death, as the lyrics on ‘Willow Tree’ attest: “You can take my body / put it in a boat / light it on fire / send it out to sea.” Or the notion of his neighbor eating his dog in his own basement on ‘Cries of the Dead’.
I know, it sounds ridiculously depressing, but you really don’t need to have a morbid fascination to appreciate this album. There’s a stark beauty in the basement-recorded ‘Soft Airplane’ (as well as a nice cover of The Shins ‘City of Electric Light’). And while it’s true that the basement can be a dark and scary place at times, it can also be filled with wonder and surprise.