Chad Valley review – Indie is not a Genre

I’m writing for a music blog now, to keep those writing skills well-tuned & to get back into covering music (in college I wrote for PineStraw magazine as a music columnist). So here’s the first post I wrote:

Here’s the link to the story.

Hugo Manuel may be better known as one of two things in the musical world: lead singer of Jonquil, or more recently, Chad Valley.

Aside from Jonquil, Manuel’s Oxford-based indie pop group, Chad Valley is his solo project that deviates into a little more 80’s synths and collaborations. Valley is similar to Jonquil on the surface — if you like one, you’ll probably like the other — but there are striking differences, too.

Where Jonquil is refined, Valley is bold and experiments with different sounds. Where the band is almost tropical, Manuel’s solo project is dreamy with synth shimmer.

Throughout the album, Valley teams up with a number of other artists, including El Perro Del Mar, Jack Goldstein, and Glasser. This adds a range of vocals and styles to the songs, giving the whole album more diversity.

“Youth Hunger” may take a few listens to begin distinguishing one track from another, but the album is made up of enough glossy synth bliss that will have you coming back any time you’re feeling nostalgic. Overall, a great solo project.

Standout tracks:

  • “Tell All Your Friends”
  • “Fall 4 U (feat. Glasser)”
  • “Evening Surrender (feat. El Perro Del Mar)”

Rating: ♪♪♪♪

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