Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part 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. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “I Owe You This (feat. Twin Shadow)” by Chad Valley from the 2012 album Young Hunger on Cascine.
Hearkening back to a time when a young Paul Oakenfold was first beginning to conquer Ibiza and Peter Hook was still in New Order, Chad Valley unabashedly recalls the sunshine sonics and balearic beats of the late ’80s. The solo project of Jonquil’s Hugo Martin, Chad Valley’s retro-sounding production is tempered by his modern bedroom musician instincts, resulting in an album that embraces the 1980s’ musical touchstones (huge choruses, blinding synthesizers) and avoids any of the decade’s pitfalls (dated production, hair spray). The opening track on his debut album, “I Owe You This” is a slick cut that highlights the tight control Martin has over his dramatic voice, and although he brings in Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jr. halfway through the track for some low end harmonies, Martin is never overshadowed (no pun intended) by his fellow ’80s disciple. Like Lewis Jr., Martin’s 2012 album is a colorful, personal release, but where Confess is the comedown from a night that should have been forgotten, Hungry Youth is the high of a day you can’t forget.
Chad Valley is currently finishing up a string of dates with Passion Pit over in England, but if he comes back to North America in 2013, you’ll hear about it first over at his Tumblr and Facebook. Watch the Franklyn Banks-directed video for the Hungry Youth track “Fall 4 U (feat. Glasser)” below.