Posts Tagged ‘Supergiant’

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Valley Queen“My Man” It’s a band of distinguishable characters, and that is no exception when it comes to their main vocalist, Natalie Meadors. She seems to be the glue that holds the manic energy together, even though she is jumping on speakers and dancing around too. Her sultry vocals weave in and out of the pounding guitar lines, with an onstage confidence that is incredibly enrapturing. You can’t help but watch as the frantic chaos on the verge of total collapse manages to hold on, and you feel the catharsis of just letting go and getting swept away..Valley Queen invites you into their overwhelmingly sensory environment, where to dance and move will cure any temporal blues

Veteran and established artists dominated the music scene this year. Look at all the “Best Of” or “Favorites” lists, and newcomers barely occupy them. One band, however, was able to crack through this nearly impenetrable wall. It sure helps that Valley Queen‘s debut album, Supergiant, is a contemporary indie-rock classic.

The record is highlighted by a holy trinity that would rival any one-two-three combination in history. “Supergiant”is indie-rock perfection. It is anthemic yet gritty, rocking yet euphoric with front woman Natalie Carol’s siren-like vocals cutting through the blazing melody. Like Big Thief’s and Angel Olsen’s grandest anthems, “Chasing the Muse” commences delicately before slowly growing into a face-melting, titanic rocker. The emotional roller coaster “Ride” completes the trio, filling every space with searing guitar riffs and Carol’s bone-chilling delivery.

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Beyond these three are other stellar tracks. Autumn-like touches a la Fleetwood Mac filter through “Bedroom”while a calm, summertime atmosphere percolates on “Carolina”. Jubilation erupts on the short but blazing “Boiling Water”. On the other side of the spectrum, the tender and stripped-back “Gems and Rubies” is stunning at its floor and incredibly engrossing at its ceiling. This is also another way to describe Supergiant, which is flawless. It is a transcendent piece of emotional indie rock that reminds us music can be anthemic, beautiful, moving, and powerful.

Supergiant is out on Roll Call Records,

Band Members
Natalie Carol – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Neil Wogensen – Bass/Vocals
Shawn Morones – Guitar/Vocals
Mike DeLuccia – Drums

Valley Queen have been described as Neil Young meets Florence Welch. That’s fairly apt description as lead singer Natalie Carol has a powerful and beguiling voice. But as I’ve always said, having a great voice is one thing; lots of people have great voices. But give me a great writing and a ripping band as well, and then you’ll have my attention.

And that’s what we have here now. “Supergiant” came together as the band fractured at a point with two members being replaced. As the band grew, Carol attempted to persuade bassist Shawn Morones and drummer Gerry Doot to join her and Neil Wogensen to record the album. She wanted that chemistry back and while Morones came back, Mike DeLuccia grabbed the seat behind the kit.

Mission was accomplished. This album is where the whole is greater that the sum of its parts. Everybody knows their role and the band weaves Carol’s Americana-inspired vocals with some crunching, fuzzy indie influences. The band is constantly setting Carol up and her voice is almost chameleon-like throughout; always hitting the right note. She’s got a bit of Neko in her in that regard. The title track, Chasing The Muse and and the closing track Highway Pearls are among the highlights.

I was a fan of their EP but they have really upped their game here.

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Band Members
Natalie Carol – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Neil Wogensen – Bass/Vocals
Shawn Morones – Guitar/Vocals
Mike DeLuccia – Drums