On the latest album from Galapaghost, golden-voiced songsmith Casey Chandler investigates his feelings of disillusionment in a dreamy haze of indie rock splendour. The 11-song record is titled 'Pulse' after the Orlando nightclub which was home to the then deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter in U.S. History and the most brazen attack on the LGBTQ community. Though only the one song deals directly with that event, the general disbelief, disgust, and frustration of living in a society that allows these kinds of events to occur is the theme at the core of the album. Despite this somewhat desolate storyline, the record is teeming with a prescient hope. The music doesn't drag, it oozes life. Perhaps the best way to describe the feel of the album would be with the George Carlin quote “Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.”. The songs flow with levity and dance with poetic lines, never pinned to the ground by despair. The album was recorded over 15 days in Italy where Chandler spent two years of his life, giving him a new perspective on America's seemingly unique set of societal problems.

The title track begins the album on a sombre, desperate note. Pulsing acoustic guitar and a reflective reverberant moaning accompany Chandler's smooth voice. Attempting to grasp the mindset of a mass shooter, he tries to imagine what led that man to such a terrible end and what could have been done to prevent it. Chandler's lyrics are piercing, poignant and devastating. The final thought surrounds the endless repetition of these terrors and if being more friendly to each other could end this cycle of violence. It's one of the most affecting songs that has come out on the nature of this problem.

Reflecting on his time in Italy and his return to the States, Chandler is overtly frank in 'The American Dream (One Nightmare at a Time)'. After two years, America hasn't grown in the slightest. After a rant at the idiocy of the current zeitgeist, Chandler recomposes himself. A lone fingerpicked guitar emerges like a dove in spring, once again imagining the beauty and grace that the country is capable of embodying at its best. Soon like taking a running leap off a cliff, the song erupts in boundless energy with Chandler whooping to the heavens. This song is a tour-de-force.

With this record, Galapaghost has solidified himself as a quintessential songwriter in the indie scene. The album is beautiful and heartbreaking. Concerned with societal ills but free of political vitriol. Its message lies at the core of America's soul. Her battered and bruised, clinging to life, soul.