Countless people would argue that America is at a crossroads. Considering his latest album is heavily inspired by one of the country’s latest mass shootings, Casey Chandler would likely agree.
Going by ‘Galapaghost’ as part of his solo effort, Chandler recently co-produced his fourth album titled “Pulse,” named after the nightclub terrorist attack in Orlando from 2016. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history until last fall’s shooting in Las Vegas.
“The album is definitely not a political album at all, but some of the songs are about how I’ve become disillusioned with America and somewhat about being caught in the middle of not fully feeling ‘American’ but not feeling quite European after living there for two years,” said Chandler.
“Pulse” is catchy yet haunting. It’s very melancholy yet filled with soul. And I can’t imagine how powerful it would be for someone who can relate with the Orlando tragedy.
Chandler does a great job of including incredible dynamics throughout the album. No song sounds alike. Sure, most artists want to experiment, but Chandler does so while still making music, not noise.
“Jim Beam” is the opposite of “Pulse.” It’s up-beat with a feeling of hope and promise.
“Pinerolo” has incredible acoustic guitar before transitioning into a trance-like synth.
Then there’s “The American Dream (One Nightmare At A Time).”
“Some songs are just about figuring out what the hell I’m going to do with my life if I don’t find success in music and trying to come to terms with that as I enter my 30’s,” said Chandler.
Such sentiments come across in “The American Dream.” It really showcases Chandler’s conflicting emotions about living in current-day America. It’s a genius medley complete with hard, crunchy rock, acoustic picking, and fantastic harmonies over a crescendoing percussion that continues to build throughout the track.
In my opinion, it’s the best track on the album. And while there’s a lot to be said with the lyrics, it’s possibly the most impactful song.
Chandler is a master of his craft. He has a gift. And I’ll be watching him closely, hoping that others can relate with his poignant and provoking music.
Read more on Galapaghost here.
Josh Helmuth is a contributor for CraveOnline who desperately still wants to be the fifth member of Boyz II Men.