Review Summary: Does a great job crossing lines between electro pop, ambient, and rock.
t is easy to stick a music label on any artist. Sure, Casey Chandler, aka Galapaghost can be ‘filed’ under electro-pop, ambient, lo-fi electronic trip-hop… But then, the sole fact that you can actually affix more than one genre or sub-genre he comes up with on his albums is a sign itself that you just can’t stick a simple label on what he does.
The fact that Chandler recently contributed to the soundtrack of the Italian film “Il Ragazzo Invisibile” (“The Invisible Boy”) directed by Oscar winner Gabriele Salvatores, just further blurs any distinct labeling. ‘Sootie’, his latest, fifth full album makes sure of that point.
While, ‘Pulse’, his previous effort was devoted to exploring how it is living abroad and looking at things from that perspective, ‘Sootie’ is lyrically an even more intimate affair, but that seems to have given his music an additional element of depth, with his combination of elements, like traces of Eno vocal albums as on “Bedtime”, the opening track here, the mellowed-down reggae of “May 25”, or strands of fellow Texans Midlake, or Beck when either are in the electro mood of “Verizon LG”.
Still, the relatively brief album which Chandler, wrote, played, sand, recorded and mixed himself, has a very cohesive melodic feel and has a much stronger effect than any of his previous efforts. Maybe, his prolonged stays outside the US, particularly in Italy and his extensive touring, including the likes of John Grant have finally matured his music and added it an extra quality.
Yes, electronics dominate ’Sootie’, but instead of making you search for a distinct label like electro-pop, or ambient, Galapaghost simply makes you enjoy the music he has come up with this time around. Personally, his best effort so far.