As it often happens when it comes to discovering new ukulele music, I heard Galapaghost on one of Ukulele Hunt‘s Saturday Uke Tube and really enjoyed his songs. I was therefore very glad when Al did an interview of Casey Chandler, the young and talented one-man-band behind Galapaghost.
Following a comment I left on Al’s post, Galapaghost-Casey contacted me and very kindly sent me his EP. As I am really enjoying Our Lost Generation, I’ve decided to review it in the hope that more people will be smitten.
But first, by means of an introduction, I asked Casey for more information on how Our Lost Generation came about and this is his story :
Basically, I recorded the entire EP in 2 days in early November, except for the track “Virginia”, which I recorded back in December 2008 and decided to keep for the EP. There’s honestly no way the EP would’ve come about had it not been for my parents buying me a ukulele for my 22nd birthday in June. Up to that point I never thought that the ukulele could ever be taken seriously as a songwriting instrument.
I always thought it was like the neglected child of the guitar family that was dismissed by everyone except from those in the Hawaiian Islands. But after I started playing it, I realized that it was just the neglected child searching for some attention. And I was happy to give it! It became the focus of my songwriting for the most part, but I didn’t want it to just become some kind of gimmick instrument. I really wanted to apply it as I deemed it necessary to building the song’s structure.
I am somewhat of a one man arsenal : I wrote, played, produced, recorded, and mixed the EP myself. I just graduated from SUNY Purchase for music production in 2009, so I’m pretty well trained in this. The crazy part is that I recorded the ENTIRE EP with just one mic! Which is the cheap, but brilliant Shure SM57.
When I listen to a new song, there are 3 main aspects that will determine whether I’ll like it or not, namely :
– The melody and structure of the tune.
– The voice of the singer.
– The ability of the song to “speak” to or reflect my emotions.
The songs on Our Lost Generation have succeeded on all 3 accounts. Here is my review of the different songs :
Lost Generation : don’t be fooled by the slow start of the song, it is quickly brightening up as more instruments are being added with each new sentence, together with backing vocal harmonies and Beatles-like hand-clapping hammering the rhythm. The mix between all instruments (drums, bass, 3 guitars, and a ukulele) is cleverly done in that the ukulele still rings clearly among the rest. A really nice song.Listen to : Lost Generation - Galapaghost
Goodnight Moon : a lovely lullaby-like song starting delicately with just a ukulele. This song highlights Casey’s vocals skills, his voice switching from deep to high with amazing ease. Very soothing. One of my favourite songs of the EP.Listen to : Goodnight Moon - Galapaghost
You’re All I Need : a lively song where ukulele and guitar blend successfully with Casey’s melodious vocals.Listen to : You're All I Need - Galapaghost
Virginia : no ukulele in this song which is more reflective, more somber in mood in comparison to the previous songs on the EP. I love the build up towards the end which livens up the song and intensifies the lyrics.Listen to : Virginia - Galapaghost
Summer Daze : The other song of the EP that is not featuring a uke, this one is more subdued.Listen to : Summer Daze - Galapaghost
Smile : Perfect way to start your day and wake you up. What starts as a quiet ukulele song suddendly explodes to loud guitar sound softened by Casey‘s clear and bright vocals. A brilliant combination of ukulele and electric guitar in this catchy song.Listen to : Smile - Galapaghost
With his first EP, Galapaghost displays his musical style which he describes as Ukel-indie-rock/folk. He reveals a great sense for melodies, proves his ability to write songs for different moods with amazing vocal skills.
The ukulele suits his songs perfectly and it is great to see how Casey has made the uke a part of his musical signature in just a few months. I strongly recommend Our Lost Generation, and hope there will be many more EP’s to come.
Our Lost Generation can be purchased from this link on Amazon.com for a mere $5.34, so don’t hesitate and buy it !
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If you live in New York City, please note that Galapaghost will be performing solo at the Sidewalk Cafe at 9pm on the 23rd of December.