When first looking into VALLEY QUEEN, I was sceptical as this is not a genre I gravitate toward. I have since been converted and I feel like I have been missing out on this genre for too long. As someone who predominantly listens to loud angry metal, this whole genre is alien to me, but my eyes have been opened. I was so pleasantly surprised by VALLEY QUEEN and their album.
Now, the first track I listened to on Supergiant was their first release Boiling Water, which nearly put me off completely. The song is very different to the rest of the album and in my opinion is quite a poor portrayal of their sound. It has a very energetic pop sound to it, like a crazy acid trip. Although it’s not a bad song, it’s not in keeping with the album and not something I would choose to listen to personally. They have had other single releases over their career, so fans will know who they are as a band. However, if this was a first choice as a new listener; it might confuse people in regards to what this band is about.
Every other track on this album has a really wonderful mellow vibe and I really enjoyed it when I thought it would not be my taste. It has such a beautiful and alternative country sound. There is a lot of passion from Natalie Carol, their lead singer. This really struck me as she doesn’t have a domineering or overpowering voice, but still renders such a strong message from such a fragile tone. I found her voice to be difficult to compare to one particular person, however there are aspects which reminded me of Hayley Williams of PARAMORE, Florence Welch of FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE and a little bit of BILLIE EILISH.
VALLEY QUEEN are a standard Indie band but with a haunting and ethereal vibe created by the echoed vocal lines. They have named the album after the biggest yet fastest burning star in the universe; Supergiant and have done that name justice with their song writing. “Supergiant is about how we’re all made up of the same stuff as stars, and I liked the idea of tying the whole album together with that metaphor” says Natalie.
The album brings together harsher more chaotic parts with quieter more relaxed parts and creates a full scope. The song Chasing the Muse springs to mind with some simple guitar tied with a basic drum beat but brought up a notch by the classic solo and the stunning vocals with a story of two people who need to “escape the reality we’ve made” and change from their old ways. Wishing each other well but acknowledging the need for change.
They have been on quite the journey recently as a band and they have really come out the other side and made a successful album. There had been a change in band members and it was something that Natalie struggled with, but in finding new members, the band has come together so well and creating a beautiful record.
Words: Amanda Nicholls
Supergiant will be unleashed tomorrow via Bread And Butter Records.