Chad Valley – Equatorial Ultravox (Loose Lips)
July 7, 2011 by Joe Woods
Chad Valley is a member of the new oxford music ‘cult’ called Blessing Force, (whose current members include; Trophy Wife, Fixers and Foals. But shhhh don’t mention the last one, as they are constantly stating that they don’t want to be sponging off their success, how admirable!) which is currently dominating the local oxford music scene and has recently seen the current crop of Blessing Force indie upstarts start to come to the rest of the nations attention.
Naming yourself after a popular brand of children’s toy isn’t really a conventional approach to things but Chad Valley is far from conventional as this splendid EP is packed full of bone chillingly icy synths, reverb drenched vocals and rather intriguing song names such as “Acker Bilk” and “Shell Suite”.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but each song seems to conjure up a different scenario e.g. The intro to ‘Reach Lines’ wouldn’t sound out of place smoking cigars and sipping tequila in a 1980’s New York nightclub, where the combining of a prominent bassline and layers of hazy synth could potentially catapult you into a carefree state of mind.
‘Acker Bilk’ could easily be the soundtrack to harsh reality of sobering up after the night before, as a kick drum steadily pulses along and is by encompassed by some impressive hoots and hollering’s by Chad Valley.
All of the electro wizardry featured on the EP is something to be appreciated, but there comes a point when the numerous layers of vocal effects applied to each song becomes a little tiresome and the desire to hear a voice that has not been electronically altered does steadily become an enticing prospect.
So… please don’t be afraid to step out of the “chillwave” stereotype Chad Valley, you could be the person to shed some warmth on this chilly genre.