Last summer, Alberta-bred indie adventurist Chad VanGaalen told Exclaim! that a forthcoming solo album would "blow everyone's mind," and now he's officially ready to test out his explosive theory. Dubbed Shrink Dust, his fifth solo effort arrives April 29 in Canada through Flemish Eye and via Sub Pop in the U.S.
The follow up to 2011's Diaper Island was recorded and produced by VanGaalen at his at his Yoko Eno home studio in Calgary and is described in a press release as navigating "themes of death, transformation, fear, benign evil, and the eccentricity of love."
The record is the first following VanGaalen's acquisition of a pedal steel guitar, and its employment on the album, in addition to an apparent appreciation of the Flying Burrito Brothers, has lead the artist to consider Shrink Dust a "country record."
"It took me a month to set it up, and a year to be comfortable recording myself playing this thing," he said in a statement about his learning curve with the pedal steel.
Shrink Dust is also apparently acting as a partial score to VanGaalen's in-the-works sci-fi cartoon, which he scripted, animated and provided voices for. While it had been previously reported that the film was going by the name of Tarboyz, it has since been renamed Translated Log of Inhabitants and is expected to arrive sometime later this year.
Also being released will be an accompanying "fully illustrated D&D-esque compendium of 150 associated characters." Fittingly, VanGaalen had previously characterized his flick as being "kinda like D&D nerdery meets, like, 2001: A Space Odyssey, meets Strange Brew."
At the bottom of the page, you can sample some of VanGaalen's extremely out-there animated visuals in a new preview clip for Shrink Dust single "Where Are You?" This, however, is "not the video."
In addition to the new album, VanGaalen will be heading out on a spring tour with Maritimes outfit Cousins. While the May trip kicks off in Montreal, the rest of the dates take place down in the U.S. You'll see all of the show specifics beneath the tracklisting for Shrink Dust.
1. Cut Off My Hands
2. Where Are You?
3. Frozen Paradise
5. Weighed Sin
8. Leaning On Bells
9. All Will Combine
10. Weird Love
11. Hangman's Son
12. Cosmic Destroyer
05/13 Montreal, QC - Cabaret Mile-End *
05/14 Boston, MA - TT The Bears Place *
05/15 Brooklyn, NY - Bell House *
05/16 Philadelphia, PA - Milkboy *
05/17 Washington, DC - Rock N Roll Hotel *
05/18 Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox *
05/19 Cincinnati, OH - MOTR Pub *
05/20 Columbus, OH - The Basement *
05/21 Indianapolis, IN - Do 317 Lounge *
05/22 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle *
05/23 Pontiac, MI - Pike Room *
* with Cousins
Read our questionnaire with Chad VanGaalen from Exclaim!'s May issue here.