Galapaghost, aka Casey Chandler, dives into the dark waters of mortality and climate change in his EP A Planet Without An Atmosphere. It’s not an EP that preaches hope, but offers the brutal reality that is going on in our world as well as Casey’s personal experiences with death. The title track of the EP opens up with a buzz that starts flinching as the samples and rhythmic twists start gliding. “I wanted the new things / I wanted a new name” chants Casey. There is an undeniable wistful sense of escapism in the song where Casey speaks to our desire to start with a clean slate, which often leads to not addressing or fixing the issue at hand. The following ballad, “Mirage,” is psychedelic indietronica where the kaleidoscopic melody paired with the robotic croons swirls you into the eerie euphony.
“Lonely Ocean” is a metaphor for a dying planet where Casey expands his high pitch choruses to amplify the isolative mood of the dark tune. But it is also a metaphor for a personal kind of loneliness that haunts us when we face mortality. He develops this kind of hopeless isolation more in “Test Stick Uhaul Her Can, Sir?” where Casey explicitly opens up about being diagnose with testicular cancer. In here, Casey tones down melodically and lets his voice stand in the spotlight to tell his story.
In “Smother Nature,” Casey deviates from the dark tone and gives his listeners a buoyant sonic break. But lyrically, the track openly criticizes the parasitic relationship we’ve developed with nature. Casey ends the record with “Terremoto” (“Earthquake” in English) where he opens with extended ahhhs over a mid-tempo harmony. The absence of lyrics is what makes it the most ominous anthem in the record, hence perfect for being the epilogue.
In his own words, Casey shared:
“I recorded this album during a particularly difficult time last year. Last October, I got diagnosed with testicular cancer and a few weeks later my Dad was run over and killed while walking in a Walmart parking lot by a distracted driver. A few months after that my wife miscarried. At times I felt like a planet without an atmosphere, which is why I chose the title for the album. Also, the album touches on the extreme disappointment that I have with every government in the world for their collective failure to implement any serious changes due to the crisis of climate change. People, and especially kids, all over the world are protesting because they want a better future for the next generation and they just keep getting stonewalled. It’s especially awful in my country in the US, with Trump making absolutely awful decisions in regards to this issue because he doesn’t believe global warming exists. I wanted to put a lot of ideas into a very short album and make sure that every song felt urgent and necessary.”
Casey’s works as Galapaghost have been featured in the film Il Ragazzo Invisible, promo video for 13 Reasons Why, and nominated for four awards at the Austin Arthouse Film Festival. Originally from Woodstock, NY, Casey now lives in Austin where he produces and releases his music independently.