Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Grant Johnson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
The sentiments in Chad Valley songs feel like they're winged.
It's a lot of just winging it, for the poor fellows in them, throwing their hearts against walls and hoping that they stick every so often. It's a round robin of effort, giving it off here and there, conserving energy when needed and exerting it more when there seems to be a necessity for more. These are real sentiments, sure - honest and genuine - but they're sent sailing, grasping in beautiful ways. Hugo Manuel, who is Chad Valley, as well as the lead in the London-based band Jonquil, has made himself an expert in the ways of swelling extrapolations of all of the things that have been building up inside. He let's them out in his soaring, dripping, poppy, club way.
His are songs that are fortified with the ability to make a body move around and forget that they're in the dumps as well as keep them in the dumps, in spite of all of the happy synthesizers and hummable bits and pieces. These are cutting nights that he works us through. These are swirling thoughts and dreamy musical accomplices, attempting to paste all of the shards into something that can be understood.
The emotions and the measurements of luck are highly flammable in the song, "Up & Down." They fluctuate and they get busted out. The fates tend to be shifty and difficult to make out at a distance. Then there are the wishes and the hopes that something's going to change, or something's going to turn back into the form that it used to hold. It's hoping that there's still time to make it all feel good. It's to keep it all feeling good and often, there's no telling which is which. Right here in the middle, is where Chad Valley songs kick in - right where they slap you across the cheeks and just remind you to say fuck it all.