Chad Valley’s last album, Young Hunger, was a bucolic exercise in beachside ’80s jams that featured kindred spirits like Twin Shadow, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and Glasser, a Bermuda Triangle of artists that the singer and synth-master (real name Hugo Manuel) settles comfortably within. He’s following that up with his sophomore LP, Entirely New Blue, which arrives October 2 via Cascine. It’s a bit more of an introspective effort this time around, written between Manuel’s time in London with his girlfriend and his move to Oxford after they broke up. “True,” the first single off the record, shades his voice with a little Auto-Tune. A thumping four-on-the-floor beat pulses brighter than his earlier work, as if freedom from relationship blinders has opened his already neon-hued genre palette. [SPIN]
A product of Oxford’s prolific creative community, Chad Valley has a catalogue that spans three studio releases – 2010’s self-titled debut EP, 2011’s Equatorial Ultravox, and the 2013 LP, Young Hunger. Now, two years later, Chad Valley’s Hugo Manuel is back with his sophomore album, Entirely New Blue. The record is an exploration in identify and a return to the places that comfort us, especially when we return to them a different person.
Raised in the urban sprawl of NYC’s boroughs, Stranger Cat is the musical persona of Cat Martino. The frequent collaborator with Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, The Shins, Sharon Van Etten, and others, has now joined forces with co-producer/bandmate Sven Britt to create a soulful collection of experimental art pop songs. Marked by Martino’s signature vocal looping, and driven by a production style that is both electronic and organic, the duo deliver intricate, soulful, and dark R&B pop.