“At first, it was simply the voice that shook me,” says NPR’s Bob Boilen. That voice? It belongs to Natalie Carol. And the “rattling Neil Young-ish band” Boilen saw backing her up? That was Neil Wogensen on bass and Mike DeLuccia on drums. Collectively they’re known as LA-based rockers, Valley Queen. From their 2017 EP, Destroyer, to their heralded debut album, Supergiant, Valley Queen has continued to attract—and hold—the attention of critics, fans, and contemporaries alike; a rock and roll snowball effect that won’t slow down, even as the world momentarily stops spinning. Today, Valley Queen announced the upcoming release of Your Red Light / Bad Astrology, a brand new 7-inch record, each side containing a fresh single in collaboration with Emily Gold of Cosmo Gold and William Tyler who’s had an impressive solo career after his work in Silver Jews. Yesterday, JamBase premiered the music video for “Your Red Light,” which was directed by Alex Justice and shot at Lucca Mart in Los Angeles, CA. Fans can see the video here and pre-order vinyl here before its release on May 15th.
Opening with a reverb-drenched electric piano, “Your Red Light” gently introduces listeners to Carol’s expansive and expressive vocal range as it drops deep before soaring into the song’s bass and string-synth driven b-section. Just as the song begins to boil, Valley Queen subtly adds in a drop of psychedelia. Gold’s harmonies bloom below Carol’s voice and Tyler’s guitar swirls. It’s then that the bottom drops out, landing somewhere in a Laurel Canyon dreamscape, familiar, but now with a new melody and luscious acoustic guitar accompaniment joining the fold. “You’ll be the queen of the underground when all of your secrets are found out.” The song builds throughout, each new section taking a piece or two from its predecessors before winding back up where it started. “I can’t be your red light anymore.”
“‘Your Red Light’ is a song about facing destructive compulsion in the midst of devotion and love, ” says Carol. She and Gold co-wrote the song via text; exchanging lyrical ideas and voice-memoing instrumental arrangements and melodies. “I wanted to make recordings that were more collaborative, with artists that surround me that I admire but were not formal members of my band,” says Carol. Enter Tyler, whom Carol had long admired and met in Marfa, TX, at the Trans-Pecos Festival the previous fall. “Both living in LA, I reached out to him soon after we got back from Marfa to ask him to be a part of it and he came up with the most beautiful guitar arrangements right in the studio." Once the songs were written and ready, Valley Queen bassist Neil Wogensen produced and mixed the tracks at Paint The Birds Studios in Highland Park, completing the grand exchange of ideas between all parties.
“Your Red Light” is the first half of the Your Red Light / Bad Astrology 7-inch, featuring Valley Queen, Emily Gold, and William Tyler’s collaborative spirit. All things Valley Queen, including 7-inch preorder info, can be found at ValleyQueenMusic.com.
More About Valley Queen:
Supergiant, the 2018 full-length debut from Los Angeles-based band Valley Queen, takes its title from the most massive and luminous yet fastest-burning stars in the universe. Released to massive critical praise, outlets like Rolling Stone, Stereogum, and the LA Times comment on the album’s electric energy. Perhaps Bob Boilen of NPR Music said it best, “Singer Natalie Carol possesses a stunning voice that can rattle the walls and stir the soul.” Valley Queen has shared the stage with Laura Marling, Social Distortion, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Ruston Kelly, and many more. Valley Queen’s Your Red Light / Bad Astrology 7-inch will be released in May of this year.