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Chad VanGaalen – World's Most Stressed Out Gardener

Alberta: Top 10 of 2021

by Christine Leonard

Golden, gentle and reflective – this springtime release blossomed into a summer “Plant Music” sensation. VanGaalen’s solace powered neo-folk greenhouse is alive with jangling Django guitars, meandering melodies, and polyphonic harmonies. Shaded from the dry heat of reality he cultivates a lush starlit soundtrack. Humming along like a hive of happy hippie worker bees, the progressive beat farmer harvests lysergic and lyrical tracks infused with iridescent tambourines, exotic flutes, quirky percussion, and otherworldly themes. 

Bo Burnham’s transcendent comedy special isn’t the only great piece of COVID-adjacent art titled Inside released this year. The indie-rock quintet’s latest opens and closes with the sounds of the 7pm clanging pots and pans that once heralded the essential workers, and many of the tracks find them grappling with introspective thoughts while trapped in a room – being stuck inside one’s own head being an even worse fate than the physical boundaries.