Valet

Nature

Written by: BV on 22/07/2015 20:50:09

Valet initially started out as a solo project for Portland-based musician Honey Owens, enabling her to explore territory that was actually not all that different from her work in other somewhat spooky, experimental-minded groups like Jackie-O Motherfucker. Valet released two full-length and an EP before suddenly disappearing in the late 2000s.

Since 2010, Owens and her partner, Rafael Fauria, have seemingly only created psychedelic house music under the name Miracles Club, releasing a number of EPs. However, following the birth of their first child sometime in 2013, the pair stepped away from their psychedelic house music sound. Instead of then releasing the resulting mellower guitar-driven music as Miracles Club, Owens resurrected Valet, this time as a group featuring Fauria and multi-instrumentalist Mark Burden. The result is “Nature”, Valet’s first album in seven years.

With track titles like “Sunday”, “Signs” and “Nowhere” it’s not entirely difficult to imagine how the album will proceed. Indeed, the simplistic titles are actually a perfect indication of the equally simplistic, supremely mellow songs to be found throughout “Nature”. From the slowly building echoes and sporadic strumming found on “Sunday” to the mellow vibe and jumbled, trebly guitar leads of “Lion” there is a consistent theme throughout “Nature” that might as well be encapsulated by words like bliss or chill, but there is a certain aura surrounding the tracks that makes for a rich-sounding sonic universe sprinkled with stunningly beautiful vocals upon the very first listen.

However, “Nature” doesn’t exactly seem to stand repeated listens as the songs’ endearing qualities found in the relaxed vibe and the easy-going melodies soon start to tire themselves out, eventually making the entire album a highly monotonous experience. It’s still music you could easily drift away to if you so please, but on the first listen it seemed to be so much more. It seemed intricate, yet down to earth – now on my 11th listen the songs seemingly blend together – making it hard for me to call the album anything but an album you can drift away to, but not much else. There are obvious peaks to be found in tracks like “Lion”, “Nowhere”, “Child” and “Transformation” – the latter sounding vastly different from the rest of the album, whilst maintaining much of the same vibe. Ultimately I’d say that Valet’s “Nature” is the sound of unadulterated bliss. Sadly, it just so happens that bliss can be somewhat boring on its own.

6

Download: Lion, Nowhere, Transformation
For The Fans Of: Eternal Tapestry, Carlton Melton, My Brother the Wind
Listen: kranky.net/Valet

Release date 25.05.2015
Kranky


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