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Entirely New Blue

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Album Review

After increasing his profile over the course of two well-received EPs, Oxford's Chad Valley (aka Hugo Manuel) delivered a sparkling debut that reached beyond his Balearic/chillwave foundations into big, bright slabs of late-'80s and early-'90s pop. The LP was also somewhat of a star-studded affair featuring numerous guest spots from electronic indie luminaries like Active Child, Glasser, and Twin Shadow. His follow-up, 2015's Entirely New Blue, while no less colorful, is a far more solitary and revealing effort than its predecessor. Written partly in London during love's full bloom and concluded back in Oxford where he retreated alone, Entirely New Blue is, in large part, a breakup album. Assisted by producer Joel Ford (Oneohtrix Point Never, Young Ejecta), the dissolution of Valley's relationship with his longtime girlfriend plays out across these nine tracks with a heartfelt earnestness rather than outright melancholy. His soulful tenor opens the album with an impassioned plea on the a cappella "Understand," which, while bereft of instruments, is masked in harsh layers of Auto-Tune. It's a far cry from the slick, romantic dance-pop that opened 2012's Young Hunger and even when he picks things up a bit with "True," it's still a more intimate and subdued version of Chad Valley than before. The lush, rainy "Labasa" stands out as a highlight with its gentle refrains and inviting amber glow. Flashes of his big '80s pop ambitions reappear on tracks like the springy "Arms Away" and "Good Brains," which comes across like a sort of Balearic, Seeds of Love-era Tears for Fears. In all, Entirely New Blue is a nice follow-up for Valley that is evolved, personal, and subdued without resorting to excessive moodiness.

Customer Reviews

Get Lost In The Valley

Chad is back and the first two tracks released are very promising. Looking forward to the rest of the album and seeing Hugo live in October!!

Beautiful

really, truely good

He did it again

The messiah Chad Valley came back strong.

Biography

Born: 2010 in Oxford, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

After taking his bedroom recordings to the next level with a full band in Jonquil, Oxford-based Hugo Manuel went back to recording as a solo artist under the name Chad Valley. Jonquil signed to Dovecote Records in the States and, around the same time, Manuel leaked a handful of dreamy, Ibiza and R&B-inspired electro-pop demos to the Web. A flock of sites (including Vice, Pitchfork, and Guardian) featured Chad Valley's "Up and Down" and "Acker Bilk" in the summer of 2010. Manuel continued to play...
Full Bio
Entirely New Blue, Chad Valley
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Customer Ratings

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