words by Jacqui Wonder

I’ve listened to Entirely New Blue a few times now and each listen sucks me in a little more, but also ultimately makes me ask more questions about Chad Valley and his eclectic, sophomore release.

Opening with an electro-gospel vibe ‘Understand’ puts you into a melancholy kind of funk before upbeat synth and tropic house vibes on ‘True’ will lift you up for a funner vibe – be careful for whiplash though as a few minutes later ‘Labasa’ will stop you in your tracks, it’s simple, haunting, and paralysing.

If nothing else Entirely New Blue has range, and while I find the organisation of the tracks a little confusing – down, up, down, up again – I can’t argue with the quality of them. This is a perplexing but gorgeous album that will have you playing it on repeat. Try not to be too confused when you find yourself wondering if you’re listening to a nineties R’n’B release when ‘Good Brains’ comes on, it’s an eclectic inclusion for sure but it somehow fits.

The key thing shining through across the nine tracks is producer Joel Ford‘s ethos of stripping away everything that isn’t absolutely essential, leading to clean, simple and compelling tracks. Valley’s vocals are also a treat, indie rock references in some places, smooth electro falsetto throughout, always accompanied by imaginative synth and a mixed up beat.

Standout track for me would be the heartstopping, simple ‘Seventeen’ where Chad Valley draws some pretty raw feels from the relationship breakdown he went through as writing the album. That would be followed closely by ‘Alisa’, raw feels once again, but distinctly more effects and climactic building on this short track make it a gripping tune.

Rating: ★★★

Chad Valley‘s newest masterpiece will be available from iTunes on October 2nd, through Cascine Records.

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