After releasing his latest album World’s Most Stressed-Out Gardener on Friday, March 19 via Sub Pop/Flemish Eye, Chad VanGaalen is out with a new music video for one of the tracks, “Starlight.” As usual, it was expertly animated/directed by VanGaalen himself.
“Starlight” is a psychedelic trip in song-form that was begging for a music video. It begins with a build-up with repetitive bass, electronics and drones setting the atmosphere before VanGaalen comes in with the words, “We’ll keep moving around it until we find our way/Doesn’t make much sense but it makes weight.” It stays subdued, feeding off the language of dreams until it gets noisier towards the end with the refrain of “Beings of dreams and starlight” and a rocking guitar solo.
The video is a series of pulsating animations morphing into each other. Sketches of animals, humanoids, fruits, plants, planets and many more shapes grow on screen, always leading into the next. Some indistinct videos play in the background that VanGaalen says is archival Super 8 footage.
“I started by re-filming some old Super 8 footage of my fam in the 50’s and 60’s in places like Banff and Sylvan Lake,” he states. “I combined that with photos of anything circular in my studio. After that, I started to panic, and sat down and drew whatever came to my burned out mind hole overtop of those backgrounds. A lot of fruit, A lot of Lamborghini Countach. I have a button on my computer that morphs the drawings together. It’s very satisfying and trippy. Go out into nature instead of watching the video.”
The whole album is pretty psychedelic, especially following the pop melodies of his previous studio album, Light Information (2017). That said, it’s not as out-there as his October 2020 release Lost Harmonies, which featured a collection of live improvisations.