Chad Valley “Fast Challenges”

By Brad Reno on Monday, October 3rd, 2011  |  1,322 views


Chad Valley “Fast Challenges” Chad Valley “Fast Challenges”

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It’s not just superheroes who require secret identities. Sometimes musicians stepping out from their day jobs feel the need to create a separate persona, just to underline the fact that they’re doing something a bit different from their usual work. For as much as music fans want their favorite artists to experiment a bit, they also want them to not stray too far afield – recall Neil Young’s “lost decade” back in the 1980s, when he decided he might like to sound like Kraftwerk or Merle Haggard for a change instead of Neil Young. Perhaps he might’ve saved himself a bit of grief at the time if he’d crafted an alias for himself.

Hugo Manuel, frontman of the (previously spotlighted) Oxford combo Jonquil, is nowhere near the household name that Neil Young is, of course, but it’s still understandable why he would feel the need to craft a separate persona when he steps away from his band and does solo work. Where Jonquil’s style might best be described as a slightly off-kilter mix of Killers-style alterna-pop mixed with Atlas Sound atmospherics, Chad Valley traffics in a British take on the chillwave sound.

“Fast Challenges” is awash (one might even say “Washed Out”) with swathes of smoothly percolating synthesizers and soaring, swooning vocals. Chillwave is a style that’s got contradictions built into its core – it’s a sound that’s highly danceable without giving the impression that it’s asking anyone to put themselves out too much by dancing, and “Fast Challenges” nails the vibe. It’s one of the most relaxing but very energetic songs one is likely to hear, conjuring up the feeling of sunrise after an all night rave or lounging in bed with a lover in the afterglow of sex. (Or for the more pure-minded, heavenly hosts of angels who are too hip for harps.)

Chad Valley may be Hugo Manuel’s nom de plume when he’s working away from his main band, but he performs at a high enough level to make the idea of him adopting it as his main identity very appealing.

Chad Valley’s seven-song Equatorial Ultravox EP was released on June 21st by Cascine.

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Rate It Here:  My ears, they bleed!Never againMehNot my thangOne listen is enoughGood, not greatWorth a listenPlaylist-worthyThis my jam!Songasm!!! (12 votes, average: 7.67 out of 10)


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. miggs Says:

    I would have really enjoyed it if you’d said in the afterglow of “making love”

  2. LifeAllStar Says:

    This song is a hit.

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