Music: an expression of humanity, escape, a soundtrack to life, deep passion….
My favorite part about this job is discovering and sharing new bands with people. So I was super to excited to get a stream of Chicago indie rock band Valaska’s new record Inchoate.
It took about 10 seconds for me to completely fall in love with Valaska’s and Inchoate’s opener, “Spring.”The joyful guitar riff that drives Spring feels like a summertime walk on the beach. Spring instantly takes me back to the early 2000’s indie rock scene, to bands like Trail of Dead, Grandaddy, Longwave, Death Cab For Cutie, and Interpol. Valaska doesn’t sound like any of those bands, but they remind me of that time in music that I loved so much. Spring is a fun, upbeat song that’s perfect for the summer season and road trip playlists.
The band instantly brings the energy down with the wonderful Hold Me Back. There’s an alt-country influence in the guitar riff that pays respect to a band like Wilco without completely immersing itself in the genre. Where Spring was the perfect road-trip playlist song, Hold Me Back is the ultimate late night drive jam. Vessel brings back more of the upbeat vibe but seems to fit comfortably as a bridge that makes the distance between the album’s first two tracks complete. Another outstanding guitar riff that tales me back to great indie records of the past.
On Violence the band starts to break out of their shell a little bit and Dave Valdez pushes his vocals further into something close to a yell as he hits the chorus of the song. Ghost has a great summertime/surfer vibe on the opening guitar riff. The theme that Inchoate keeps hitting is how perfect a record this is for summer. Human Condition is a song that would’ve fit comfortably on the Garden State soundtrack. It might as well be a Shins b-side.Minor reminds me of On A Wire era Get Up Kids.
It was love at first listen and that love didn’t wane over about a dozen listens. There’s a lot of nostalgia that Inchoate brings to mine, but it’s not even a specific band that comes to mind. Just a time and era when music was great. And that’s about as high a compliment that I can think to give a band. 5 out of 5 Stars.
You can give Valaska’s Inchoate a spin and purchase the record at https://valaska.bandcamp.com/album/in-cho-ate