You’re alive and aware during the Great Peace. It’s been a century since the last war between humans; since fear, hatred, and suffering existed among the living. Those unnecessary things are all gone now. Death has lost, and Life has won. You find yourself committed to a leisurely stroll along a serene river. You stop, turn, and fall softly onto the grass behind you. You lift your eyes skyward and zone out into the clouds. A warm sound begins to fill your ears . . .
I feel a slight giddiness while writing this, because of the incredible warmth contained in this record. Honey Owens and her partner, Rafael Fauria, make up the duo known as Valet, and Nature is their first album in seven years. The group’s overarching sound falls somewhere under the umbrella genre of Shoegaze, but they possess a distinct, joyous beauty that sets them apart from other shoegazers.
Where Valet’s previous albums tend to navigate through the songwriting process by way of more experimental waters, this new one is completely content to sit back and revel in comfortable clouds of washed-out bliss. The songs are still quite brilliant, but they sneak up on you slowly, rather than throw everything in your face instantly. It begs to be heard in a relaxed environment, with feet up and eyes closed. This is zone out music, and that’s completely and wonderfully okay.
However, the guitar tones are truly what put this record over the top. Every strum is a wave of sonic euphoria. I just want to hang out forever in the world this record has created. Some tracks seem to reach the outro halfway in, and ride it till it seems to fade out into eternity; and you know what? It still sounds like these songs could go on for much longer. If you’re seeking warm, joyful shoegaze music, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)