LISTEN: Sub Pop’s Chad VanGaalen Gets Cryptically Colorful On “Samurai Sword

Check out the distinctive and quirky lo-fi gem “Samurai Sword” (below) from Chad VanGaalen who has been with the prestigious Sub Pop label since 2005. With innovative and bizarre instrumentation colored by household percussion items and warm acoustic guitar, VanGaalen offers a different spin on indie rock. “Samurai Sword” combines the musical oddity shades of Frank Zappa, Stephen Malkmus and Yo La Tengo in this cryptically colorful composition.

VanGaalen describes the inspiration behind this clever track…

“I had just ripped a bunch of old leaking copper pipe out of my basement in a reno job that I jumped into willy nilly. Realizing how magical the pipes sounded, I put them on some dirty styrofoam and banged out the janky beat that introduces the song! Garbage is life. It just spilled out in a couple of minutes. I didn’t try to stop it because I was smiling like I was just cruising through my neighborhood. Simple like a sandbox. An ode to the simplicity. It’s hard to let things be simple. But simple is easy on the mind, and being jovial in song is something I find really difficult. Why? What?

“I was drawing black and white plant backgrounds for this song because of the great old samurai movies of the past. I like how nature sometimes takes the lead. I was getting all knotted in my mind about the sky. I looked at my dad’s watercolor paintings of a sky, and felt like I couldn’t get the feel right. So, I just borrowed his sky for a scene and then I realized that my dad’s paintings were perfect and already full of real-life energy. I used them to finish the video and felt like we got to go on this quest together. In my mind. Fuck time.”

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