Monday, July 23, 2018

Record Review //
Valley Queen
(Roll Call Records)

$20 // //

To try and define the style of Valley Queen seems easy enough on paper, such as in a press release or a bio for Bandcamp and that sort of idea, but in reality this music is far more complex than all of that.    In an oversimplified way, you could describe Valley Queen as the cosmic connection between music past and music present.   Sounds like Speedy Ortiz and Hop Along come out just as much as Blondie and Fleetwood Mac.    There is a bit of that Mazzy Star feel in here as well, which I feel is another link between past and present.

This can feel noisy at first but there is a lot of melody in here, a lot of beauty.   A solid example of an album and how it should be structured overall, this reminds me also on Weezer's blue album in that way.    The music is one of the most important aspects of this all because along with that comes those distinct vocals but there are also lyrics on every song worth quoting.    The titular track, for example, has this to offer:

The world got lost 
We went insane 
I'll build a garden 
Only I can create 

"Chasing the Muse" was a featured #SongOfTheDay all the way back in April and it features a killer guitar solo.    Then we go into "Ride", which was a featured #SongOfTheDay much more recently (7/1/18) and so you have these two songs you should already know on here.    It's not easy to put into words, but I do enjoy that feeling so much of listening to songs as part of an album and just really being into them and then a song comes on you recognize and it all kind of falls into place.    In many ways, jamming these two songs these past few months should also have been your way to prepare for lyrics like this to hit:

Cause I create
And I destroy
And it's not wrong
But it's not right

You might read different things about Valley Queen.   I think their description on their own site is somewhat accurate, but even if you do read that and think "That doesn't appeal to me" for whatever reason, give this album a listen anyway because you should be able to find something in here to like.   It probably goes back to one of those things where I don't have a lot of comparisons so it's not easy enough to just say "This sounds like this plus this with a little bit of this" but that's what makes it so damn great.

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