Stalkin’ Galkin

8 May

galkinToday I found this little web series that Amoeba Records makes with the bands that drop by for live sessions, called “What’s in my Bag?” I love Amoeba, if only for the slashed prices on all the used Blur CDs, so I appreciated listening to bands blab about music like I do. I watched several, including Mac DeMarco’s, which was as laid back as you would imagine. His descriptions of his purchases were relaxed and earnest, and he didn’t blink when a fan come over asking for an autograph, who then interrupted the segment completely to take a photo with him, right in the frame of the video. “I hope you don’t mind if we put you in the What’s in my Bag…” a producer says off camera. Star-struck, she chirps, “I don’t mind!” and departs. DeMarco’s music is that stoner surf rock that everyone can enjoy, and I think I’ve found someone that he’s influenced: Galkin.

I think that we underestimate Canada a little too much. They have a very impressive music scene, from where both DeMarco and Galkin originate. Galkin sings polite psych rock songs, and as far as I’m concerned, the fuzzier he sounds, the better. He has perfected the imperfect precision of slacker rock, with a mesmerizing distortion throughout all of his releases.

I’m very partial to a song that I can sing along with enthusiastically, so I really love “Useless Artifact.” In fact, I love this EP, “Pity Party,” the most, and for more than just the fun melodies. This EP has the best cover art from Galkin to date, with a photo of him near a pool, about to lift himself up from the ground. The colors are bold and the photo itself has motion, however subtle. We conveniently can’t see his face, but he makes up for it with his next EP, Mamaluke of the Year. This next release has a crisper sound, but all else remains the same: the slow pace of the tracks, the familiar warm baritone of Galkin’s voice.

Most recently, Galkin released his Thawed Out EP in March, and it shows his growth and sophistication as an artist. The opening track, “Out to Lunch,” is bright and cheery, and the serves as the foil to the drone-like intro of the very next track, “Indigo.” I also appreciate the sentiment of “Out”; for those of us that have desk jobs, those words grant you the privilege to shirk all your responsibilities for a full hour every day. I’ll always celebrate laziness.

To download any of Galkin’s EPs, visit his Bandcamp.

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