A Look in The Local Bin: Valley Hush
Yeah, it’s Black Friday. If you’re not traipsing through the holiday shopping track (or helping those find the perfect gift for everyone on their list), then you’re probably relaxing at home, or, at least, that’s what I would be doing. In any case, if you’re trying to find the perfect album to listen to while polishing off Thanksgiving leftovers, look no further than the newest addition to The Record Machine‘s already impressive roster, Valley Hush.
The Detroit duo’s Record Machine debut is the perfect mix of big beats and synthy textures. Catchy and danceable, Valley Hush’s self-titled occupies the intersection between upbeat tempos and minor keys. Valley Hush begins with the space clearing “Rise/Intro” before moving into “Concepts.” This track is a brooding, paranoid love-ish song. Eking tension from subtle bass progressions and constantly shifting leads, “Concepts” unfurls like the love child of Depeche Mode and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
The marriage between the highly structured skeleton and unrestrained fringes of Valley Hush’s sound makes for music that is simultaneously absolutely cool and blast-furnace hot. From start to finish, Valley Hush bubbles with the tension these elements develop in the album’s tracks. And the juxtaposition of hot and cold elements gives a solid punch behind the songs’ immediate hook.
And one of the most hook filled songs sits in the center of the album. “Lola” runs through its melodies with a carefreeness that is as infectious as the rhythmic layers that creates its instrumental track. Undeniably pop genius, “Lola” kisses and slaps its listeners as it moves between verse and chorus. The song is dark without losing its glimpses of light–perfect for creating a tense atmosphere or dancing the blues away.
Throughout Valley Hush, there seems to be a disconnection between desire and actuality. One the one hand, the instrumentals build into lush and uplifting progressions. But on the other hand, the lyrics croon with a sense of loss and pain. The gap between these emotions/tones gives each song on the album a complex and nuanced feel.
And no where is this more apparent than the penultimate track, “Sedimentary.” Strung together by heart-wrenching images and angular beats, “Sedimentary” is the aural equivalent of complimentary colors–put together the two elements simply vibrate (more so than they would on their own).
Valley Hush’s self-titled debut on The Record Machine is stunningly lush electronic pop. From start to finish, the album surprises with its twists and counterpoints. Never forecasting its next move, Valley Hush will keep you on edge while its silky electronics envelope you. Can you think of a better soundtrack for avoiding the crowds on Black Friday? I can’t. There is a catch though, you have to go out and get the record first. So brave the crowds and grab this record. You won’t regret it, I promise.