Golden

by Serhal

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about

It was about ten or twelve years ago when I first started to hear murmurs of praise and gossip about Chad Serhal from all sorts of folks kicking around various Indiana music scenes. From one side of the aisle I’m hearing about what a jerk the guy is. He’s self-involved, he’s a short tempered loner, and he thinks he’s some kind of artist...From the other side, I hear about how incredible his songwriting is, how prolific he is, and how interesting and unique a guy he is. Now keep in mind, that was all more than a decade ago, and a lot can change in that time. But the point is, long before I ever even met Chad Serhal, the image of him in my mind was fabled and mysterious.
Part of the reason that so many people around here were talking about the guy, is because he IS very prolific. And what’s more, he can kind of hang with all different sorts of people. On top of his long and storied solo career (Golden is his 38th solo album...), Chad spent time as a member of legendary Indiana hardcore band In The Face of War, our local psych-pop mainstay Everything, NOW!, and even did a stint with outcast xtian punk outfit, Calibretto. On top of all that, he’s a constant and accomplished comic artist (like a less obsessed R. Crumb, or more autobiographical Zak Sally), painter (like a crude apprentice to Kurt Wagner), and collector of cutout magazine photos. Oh, and he’s probably the biggest film buff I know.
The point of all of this is to paint a picture of the Chad Serhal I finally met, the one who’s album I’m about to release. He’s a good guy (turns out, not a jerk at all), and I’m constantly finding myself drawn to his candor and openess, both in life and artistically. Especially on Golden. Lyrically, Golden is another quick poetic glance into Serhal’s life and mind. Like his paintings or his comics, it’s a bit of frozen time documenting exactly what the heck he’s thinking about at that very moment. A lot of these songs are about beautiful women he’s admired from afar...or rather, a particular unnamed woman. And by “admired” I don’t necessarily mean, “pined for”. Sure there’s that, but there's also a voyeuristic quality...it has more to do with watching and wondering.
Musically, I like to compare Golden (recorded by Serhal - alone - in an empty house in Bloomington) to two things. First, the dark and eclectic production - with splashes of wet, compressed pianos and rhythmic floor toms underneath a foundation of dull acoustic guitars, really puts me in mind of the Microphones’ "The Glow pt II". The other thing is the lo-fi intimacy and often times cavernous, delayed vocals taking me to a similar feeling place as the Boss’ "Nebraska". Of course, I hear all of those comparisons only once they’ve been filtered through that very Serhal aesthetic; that prolific, loner mystery that I’m only now getting a good look at. Join me and listen to this record.

credits

released 13 August 2013

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