Chad VanGaalen: World’s Most Pressured Out Gardener (Sub Pop)

Chad VanGaalen

World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener

Sub Pop

Mar 19, 2021
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Now that the pandemic has been around for a complete calendar year, we are partly previous the records that were being delayed or wrapped up underneath quarantine, and on to albums that are specifically influenced by this very long spell of social distance and levels of despair. While its origins pre-date the world-wide debacle, Calgary’s sound-and-visionary Chad VanGaalen aspect-eyes the abyss on his seventh-or-so studio album, World’s Most Pressured Out Gardener.

Does World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener generate a harvest of hope, a bumper crop of outrageous, an abundance of warning? The flora is variegated with vintage VanGaalen psychedelic sci-fi imagery grown in earthy, natural and organic songwriting. The album starts with summers “lived on the spider’s milk” and “dreams of starlight” feeding into fantasy, but soon adequate smacks you in the confront with a mirror. “These times continue to keep rolling absent like each and every one particular is the similar/When each phase you just take is like you’re forcing the motion again/Yeah you must attempt and relax but there just isn’t any way,” goes the climactic admission of “Where Is It All Heading?” on its dreamy walk. That titular issue on quite a few minds is properly answered with a variety of silence, the wordless synth area-scape “Earth From a Distance.”

A person of the reliable charms of VanGaalen’s albums is the unique microclimate they make, sheltered from external stress and intrusion even as they confront their have harsh un-realities. World’s Most Pressured Out Gardener stays on that journey, spinning a sonic-folks yarn across the cosmos, its textures shifting and shadows alluring. All the though, it continues to be grounded by the homespun instrumentation (like the copper pipes that serve as xylophones on “Samurai Sword”) and a candlelight compositional sense which gleams brighter for the prudence of polish. Tracks like “Nothing Is Strange” naturally obtain their peaks and supply a moment’s escapism even as they remind you that in actuality “there ain’t no escape.”

Involving the silly and surreal, like the “Samurai Sword” with “a blade that is been tempered by the blood of the gods, and a tiny very little sticker of a dog,” there is a sense that exaggeration can creep far too shut to fact. Answers are not often effortless to appear by, and clarity can dissolve into confusion just as easily as confusion can give way to clarity. World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener breathes, stares, and shovels by way of this universe a person tangled root at a time. (

Writer ranking: 8/10

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