"Slip into the same old dream every night," Chad VanGaalen sings in "Peace on the Rise," adding, "Welcome all the things that could've been."
"Slip into the same old dream every night," Chad VanGaalen sings in "Peace on the Rise," adding, "Welcome all the things that could've been." Delphine Ghosarossian
Song: "Peace on the Rise"
Artist: Chad VanGaalen
CD: Diaper Island
The Calgary band Women dove headfirst into the ambiguous wormhole that is "hiatus" last year, so a new album from its producer Chad VanGaalen acts as a welcome antidote to the group's disappointing implosion. Mentioning Women here is only relevant insofar as Diaper Island, VanGaalen's latest record, has moments that feel uncannily close to what he helped craft on Women and Public Strain — or at least much closer than any of his other albums. The affected balladry and brilliant vocal lines are still a big part of the sound, but so is the distinctive guitar tone and off-kilter riffs that make Women's work such a treat.
"Peace on the Rise" is a great example of the new mix. "Slip into the same old dream every night," VanGaalen sings during the chorus, adding, "Welcome all the things that could've been." That line wouldn't have felt out of place on an earlier record like Infiniheart, but its context is warped here: The vocals and guitar line interlock in a weird swing of the melody that progresses unexpectedly, yet completely works.
Between the slinky guitar parts, VanGaalen's pacific vibe and the swampy, droning bridge, the song as a whole supports the daydreamy tone that's so effectively encapsulated in the chorus; it definitely has VanGaalen's distinctive touch. In terms of Women's sway, it's hard to know where the influences begin here — as is the case with many band-producer relationships — but it's exciting to hear that the aesthetic VanGaalen helped create lives on for now, even if Women chooses to sit out the next few rounds.