What in the fucking shit, you guys. This record.
In case you missed it all over the internets last week, Pitchfork had an advance-stream of Chad VanGaalen's new release up — and so here in the imaginary offices, we clamored about, set our guns to stream, and promptly took it for a spin. After having it on repeat for days on end, we were all quite literally splayed out on the floor, trying to soak it all in for the umpteenth time, full to the brim and going back over and over again for more.
Our conclusion is this: Shrink Dust, the first full-length release since 2011's Diaper Island, is nothing short of a freakish masterpiece.
Personally, as a casual VanGaalen fan — a friend had put a track of his on a mix a few years back, and I loved everything about Diaper Island as a result — I knew Shrink Dust was going to be good, but I don't think I was fully prepared for exactly how good it was going to be. The sheer imageric power of this album put a whole movie to reels in my mind, setting off a series of sequences I can't (and don't want to) unsee. Threaded throughout these songs are a total and absolute ache, a filtered insanity bridged with utter clarity, some blinding sunshine, and some all-out rock. It's daydreams and nightmares and wakings-up, all at once. Shrink Dust, simply stated, is a force to be reckoned with, regardless of your personal taste leanings or wheelhouse.
We could go track by track ("Cut Off My Hands" will slice your heart right in half, "Where Are You" will have you wandering around some kind of bizarre emotional landscape looking for answers, "Lila" hints at a trip to the California-country fringe, "Leaning On Bells" will be your number one super-shreddy bummer summer jam), but the real solution here is for you to just buy this fucking record and let it play nonstop, until it finds the home in you that you didn't know you had waiting for it.
I know, I know. That's a lot of adjective to throw down. But really, you guys: this album is super fucking good.
So here are your marching orders: skip the Spotify ish and buy the album from our buddies over at Sub Pop — mine came on de-lovely bright red vinyl with a booklet and all kinds of extra treats — and if you're free tonight, stop by Saint John's on Capitol Hill for an art show and performance by none other than Chad himself. If you can't make it tonight, don't fret; he'll be at the Tractor early summer for a proper show.
More details on tonight's event here. 21+ and FREE.