Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection is “Up And Down” by Chad Valley, from the 2010 Chad Valley EP on Cascine Records.
Chad Valley is actually Hugo Manuel, who takes his performing name after a brand of UK toys. Manuel is also part of the Oxford-based bedroom-pop trio Jonquil, who were also recently featured as a Song of the Day (see here). But unlike Jonquil’s Afropop influenced sound, Manuel brings his voice and electronics further to the forefront with Chad Valley, leaning more towards the breezy beach-side sounds of Beat Connection, Washed Out, and other bands often categorized as “chillwave.” Today’s featured song, “Up and Down,” is an enticing, codeine-laced dance number. It starts slowly, with a soft, watery buzz and a thin, clicking beat, but soon the bass and vocals kick in, and you find yourself quickly and completely immersed. While similarities between Pet Shop Boys and Chad Valley aren’t immediately obvious, both bands tend to push the same buttons. At times, you’ll want to get off off the couch and dance; at others, close your eyes and drift off. While you’re listening to “Up And Down,” it’s very easy to do either.
Currently, there are only four songs available for purchase, which can be found on the Chad Valley EP. You can preview them and a handful of remixes on Manuel’s Myspace page, where you’ll also find updates on his tour schedule. (Just a few UK shows are posted now, but hopefully Chad Valley will see a U.S. tour this year.) His label, Cascine Records, confirms that a new EP is due in April, so stay tuned for that. For now, here’s a video for “Up And Down,” which is most probably fan-made but most definitely captures the mood of the song: