While Chad VanGaalen currently stands as a short-list nominee for the Polaris Music Prize, today the Calgary singer-songwriter released a surprise EP of outtakes form his beloved Soft Airplane album.
Available as a free download via his website, the nine-track collection, simply entitled Soft Airplane B-Sides, is composed of songs originally intended for the LP, but didn't make the final tracklisting.
Given that it is a compilation of outtakes, the new EP is predictably eclectic. "Stuffed Animal" features a shuddering glitch beat, heavily treated vocals and samples of a dog barking; "Are You Sleeping" pairs ramshackle acoustics with Nintendo-style blips and a thundering drum groove. But there are also some moments that are classic VanGaalen, like the Neil Young-indebted strummer "Soak in Visions," as well as "I Wish I Was a Dog," which feature guest contributions from Julie Doiron and Fred Squire.
This also isn't the first time VanGaalen has released outtakes from the Soft Airplane sessions: the vinyl version of the album came with two bonus tracks, "LTD Edition Vehicles" and "Eyes Like a House on Fire."
Soft Airplane B-Sides comes almost exactly a year after the release of the original album, which dropped on September 9, 2008. Just five weeks ago, VanGaalen released Snow Blindness Is Crystal Antz, a collection of instrumental experiments issued under the moniker Black Mold.
The Calgary troubadour will be touring Western Canada in October, but in the meantime, you can download the entire B-sides collection here.
Soft Airplane B-Sides:
1. "Stuffed Animal"
2. "Are You Sleeping?"
3. "Microscopic World"
4. "Soak in Visions"
5. "Pyramids Float"
6. "Twisting Magic Up"
7. "Did You Find Peace?"
8. "I Wish I Was a Dog" (with Julie Doiron and Fred Squire)
9/19 Toronto, ON - Church of the Redeemer*
9/25 Calgary, AB - Ironwood**
10/8 Regina, SA - The Exchange*
10/9 Winnipeg, MA - Park Theatre*
10/10 Saskatoon, SA - Broadway Theatre*
10/14 Victoria, BC - Alix Goolden Threatre*
10/15 Vancouver, BC - The Rio Theatre*
10/16 Kelowna, BC - The Habitat*
10/18 Edmonton, AB - Myer Horowitz Theatre*
* with Castlemusic
** with the Wet Secrets