This EP was sent to me about two weeks ago and I must have listened to it about a dozen times already. Considering I try and listen to a different album on the way to/from work every day, that’s pretty impressive. Galapaghost is the project of Casey Chandler and this is his third EP under this name. There are 7 songs on his EP and they are all good! It starts with ‘The Demise Of Me’, a ukulele driven song and a folky, four-on-the-floor double bass plodding on in the background. His harmonies are genuinely delightful; quaint and modest, they add real charm to all of the songs. This particular song has a real feel of Angus & Julia Stone about it. It’s good, good American folk.
He doesn’t restrict himself to ‘conventional’ folk though. The album goes through various moods, from the melancholy ‘Disintegration’ to the punky ‘Rise & Fall’, which is a particularly good song. It sounds startlingly like Green Day’s ‘Waiting’, with some Cat Power added in the mix. (Just so you know, in my book a comparison to Green Day pre-2003 is a good one.)
‘A Familiar Place’ is one of the prettiest songs I’ve heard in a really long time. It has got a lullaby quality to it that makes it immensely listenable. The Glockenspiel on this song is wonderfully quaint. It is also nice to have such a lighthearted song coming after the emotion of ‘Disintegration’. Moving towards the end of the EP, the title track is probably the most typically American of the songs on the album. The slide guitar and chunky chorus once again provide a good change of pace and I’m a particular fan of the solo that plays the song out.
“Well this is a celebration for you // Because you are so cool” – so begins the final song on Runnin’. If, as Chandler says, this is going to be his final EP, then it’s a fitting way to go out. The record is a great 31 minutes. His influences are varied: he claims Midlake, Simon & Garfunkel and Radiohead among them and I can hear them all. But he also goes through moments where he sounds like Phantom Planet (the good stuff), Death Cab and Mumford & Sons. This really is a treat: it’s difficult to pigeon-hole, which is exactly what I would look for in an EP. They should be a showcase of what an artist can do… Let them go for themes on albums! Listen to it once and you won’t be disappointed.
File next to: Cat Power, Midlake, Angus & Julia Stone
Listen to: Never Heard Nothin’
The good news is that this is free! So go and download it from his Soundcloud page.