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Galapaghost – I Never Arrived

Album Rating: 8.4 – Glinting strings and piano taps congealing around departures, dreams, heartbreaks, and hopes.

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Photo: Courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Galapaghost is comprised of Casey Chandler who is originally from Woodstock, NY, USA. His debut album Runnin was recorded independently and released on January 2012 under a small label based out of Italy. His second record Dandelion was released in Itably back in October 2013. Currently based in Austin, TX, Galapaghost has released his third album I Never Arrived on January of this year.

There’s a nomadic sense that permeates in the sonic sojourn that Galapaghost has paved for us in his new album I Never Arrived. There’s not a single track that leaves you with a sense of sedentariness – every track is a forward-moving experience that chases events, places, and emotions. The title of the record sums it up; Galapaghost never lets you fully arrive to one point and stay there. Instead, he takes the freedom to explore different layers of emotions associated with the theme of each track.

With glimmering guitar strings and airy choruses, Galapaghost immediately buoys you into a dreamy aura with his opener “Mazes In The Sky.” And he keeps fueling this floating flow on to the next rack, “Science Of Lovers,” a more pensive track that immediately shifts you from the stargazing soundscape to a heart-wrenching one. The jolting piano taps resonate the nervous pulse we experience from doomful relationships that keep our heads suspended in hopelessness. This almost childlike despair the romance can make us recede to is wrapped up in “Salt Lake City” where Galapaghost chants in slow-motion, “How do I gotta feel?”

Self-doubt is a theme that bounces back and forth in this record. “Mister Mediocrity” is his own confession of his creativity struggle and fear of not living up to expectations. “I wish I could scream like Kurt Cobain” opens up Galapaghost. As he compares himself to all of his musical icons, the mounting percussions and tempo mirror the firing thoughts that go through him as he questions his own abilities. The following track of his album, “I Never Arrived”, deals with the painful self-aware limitations he has, but this time we do not find a struggling artist. But someone who has accepted that he never got to where he thought he would. “Surprise, I never arrived / Surprise, I thought I could fly” croons Galapaghost. The midtempo yet the deliberately crafted rhythm is perhaps the apex of the record as it shows Galapaghost’s prowess in using soothingly exhilarating melody.

Guitar is one of the top instrumental engines of the album. The string-laden track “Vitamin D” feels like an almost acoustic take where Galapaghost multi-vocally recounts what keeps him going despite all the shitnenigans that are present. In “The Greatest Roomate,” he takes on a country route and goes back to soft rock again “The Secrets Our Body Keeps,” where he portrays bodies as another dimension. The echoing choruses and multi-voiced hums create variegated sonic layers that make the track the most auditory stimulating encounter. Galapaghost transitions you back to the overall tranquility with the country-inspired “Somewhere” and bouncily placid “Bloom.”

Before the outro, “Goodbye (My Visa Arrived)” captures that moment of relief and bliss we all feel before departing a place. While the tune motions in midtempo waves, the vocal zeal of Galapaghost unable to conceal the alleviation from the old and excitement to newness captures the nomadic desire of human nature. Similar to his dreamy, meditative entrance, he exits his record with “Our Place” – which feels like it’s building towards something yet ends abruptly, leaving us suspended without never arriving to the traditional finale.

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