While AD opted for a limited 2008 year-end wrap up, I can assure you that, had we each listed our top twenty LPs of the year, Women’s self-titled debut would have most definitely made the bottom half of the list. Comprised of Chad VanGaaalen, again toiling away in his Calgary basement both alone and with the band, Women juxtaposes various genres, side by side, while equally melding them together under a blanket of careful distortion, tape hiss, and inventive arrangements. Fans of ’80s/early ’90s indie will especially want to give this a listen as it works both the psych angle as well as the experimental guitar rock that dominated the, then, underground zeitgeist.
Speaking of VanGaaalen, next to his 2005 album, Infiniheart, 2008 saw the Sub Pop troubadour release my favorite album of his yet, Soft Airplane. A lo-fi bouillabaisse, the LP again begs the question “how does VanGaalen continue to remain in relative obscurity?” With many an accolade for both Soft Airplane and Women, ’09 could be the year the artist expands his existing, rabid, fanbase. Simply a brilliant songwriter and producer.