Friday, October 26, 2007

Valet - Blood Is Clean

Blood Is Clean
(04.2007, Kranky)

Valet is the ethereal alias of Portland's Honey Owens. On her solo debut, Owens has created a menacing spectral treat that drifts magnetically through air. The opener, "April 6," quickly aligns Valet with Portland compatriot Liz Harris (aka Grouper) with its whispery, layered vocals before giving way to lightly layered tribal sounding percussion. While the general feel of Blood Is Clean maintains similarities in tone to Grouper's wonderful releases, Owens definitely creates her own ghostly persona with a welcomed variation of instruments and vocal approaches. The second, and title track, "Blood Is Clean," is upheld by a grainy guitar and propelled by a haunted lyrical sermon which then transitions into a distorted six-string exorcism. The remainder of the album wades through minimalist tapestries covered with noise shrapnel, hollow vocal eulogies and subtle, looped drums. The result is a series of deliciously cold soundscapes that are more dynamic and engaging than your average experimental drony-ness. A perfect mention for the October season, Blood Is Clean is a veritable ghost of a record and a searing addition to Kranky’s already towering year of releases.

-Mr. Thistle

Valet- "April 6"

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