This new Chad Valley album, ‘Imaginary Music’, is one that you will not regret taking the time out and listening to, maybe even twice over in the one sitting. It’s bliss captured in a bottle, turned into essence and pressed into a musical form. Coming out of the UK it’s always interesting hearing such upbeat and summer filled music, but I am not going to complain or question it in the slightest.

Setting the tone for the album the opening track ‘Dance With Me?’ is a bunch of ambient sounds all coming together to form a melodic adventure. It’s so soft in the transition to track two that you almost don’t realise one ended and the other began. ‘Hold Somebody’ is so delightful in the entirety of the track, picking up some little Kavinsky vibes in there with his beautiful vocals leading the track and stretching over the synths. ‘Impartial’ comes sliding in next, much less of a falsetto vocal range on this, but his vocal definitely still steals the show, with a very solid beat underneath to support it. The sound is really just so pleasant on this track I’m in awe.

Really picking up some late 80’s/early 90’s sound comes in ‘LA in August’, with an almost Cher like beat, modernised and then having his vocal come in and do its thing, it’s really something. Lifting the tempo and getting your disco soul moving is ‘See-Through’, which is something else. Caught between disco and modern dance, with another influence I can’t quite pick, it really creates such a euphoric atmosphere. ‘Up-Again’ is a really tight track, copping some really tight production on it. It feels like a really well thought out track that lyrically came together in a single sitting. The simplicity of the vocal hook really catches you and the layering of the vocals is epic.

‘ABC’ is an interesting track in the mix. It’s the only track that feels like it’s carrying a slightly depressive notion with it, yet still holds the really positive melody and synths coming through. His vocals really shine on this track and you can hear the range amazingly. Dusting off any slowness comes in ‘Empire State’ which picks back up on those Kavinsky vibes, a really epic jam that you can picture filling the room of a dance-floor and having smiles from one side to the other. ’10 Minutes’ is a very busy track, a lot going on, but all coming together very nicely. I think he could’ve done without the hefty editing on his vocals and it would have really taken the track up. The bridge was definitely the highlight of this track for me.

Taking you into the dreamscape for the last time in ‘Minneapolis’, a great and slow number that I have zero faults for. It ticks all my boxes personally, a gentle build up into a really soft break down and tight soft vocals. I’m digging it. The album ‘Imaginary Music’ has done it for me in a big way, cannot wait for more from this talented artist.

Rating: ★★★★


Stream / Buy: Cascine
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