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Premiere: Stream Sal Valentine's New EP 'Church'

Premiere: Stream Sal Valentine's New EP 'Church'

Friday 2nd June, 2017 9:00AM

On the heels of releasing singles 'Elizabeth, I've Been A Fool' and 'Just Another Lover' over the last seven months, Sal Valentine is now lifting the lid on his hotly-anticipated EP Church. Tracked over a period stretching between late 2015 and early 2017, the eight-song offering was laid down with the help of bandmember Jonathan Pearce at his K' Road studio, and brings together elements of soul, r 'n' b, jazz, hard rock and funk which culminate to provide the perfect bedrock for Valentine's fervent lyricism. Stream the EP and scroll on to read our interview with Sal...

The EP took more than a year to lay down, what was most important for you to achieve in​ ​the studio?

There were a lot of experiments going on: sharing production duties between myself​, Jonathan Pearce​ and Bob Frisbee, adding percussion, studio effects, overdubbing huge horn sections. Rather than tracking a whole EP in a day like our last ​offering, we decided to let each track gestate in the studio and find out what works that way.

The cover art is pretty interesting. Is it a metaphor? A kind of cleansing by fire?

It definitely signifies a transition of sorts. The band has been slowly morphing in sound and focus for a couple of years now but it's hard to show a gradual shift when your releases are so far apart... I think the EP shows that we're still in the process of self-immolation, with old and new elements rubbing up against one another. Also, it was a personal favour to Ha The Unclear's Michael Cathro (known mannequin hater).

The songs on Church see you wear your heart on your sleeve a lot. What were some of the biggest challenges in putting these songs together?

I've heard that term tossed around a lot recently in regards to me. Is it because I wrote a song about reaching out to a friend in a dark time? Is it that I'm too honest about my dating experiences and romantic failures? Is it because I'm doing a very un-New Zealand thing by talking about my feelings? I feel the amount of emotion I'm injecting into the music is on par for 90% popular music ever written. The challenges with this EP have more to do with keeping an increasingly eclectic set of musical influences working in tandem and I think keeping the lyrical content honest is key to the project's cohesion.

What three words best describe the new record?

Listen. It's complicated.

You’ve got a couple of shows lined up as a 10-piece band! One in Auckland and one i​n​​ ​Wellington. What’s it like hitting the road in such large numbers?

The beauty of ​touring with such a large band is that there's always someone on your level. We're usually evenly divided between people who need their beauty sleep and people who want to engage in some serious debauchery, so it's easy to move at one's own pace.

What’s up next for Sal Valentine?

More shows. More tunes. A new album by the year's end. Then, the world.

Sal Valentine & The Babyshakes 'Church' Tour

Saturday 27th May, Rogue & Vagabond, Wellington w/ Richter City Rebels
Friday 2nd June, REC, Auckland w/ Balu Brigada and Dbldbl
Saturday 10th June, Matterhorn, Wellington (as part of Wellington Jazz Festival)

Tickets to the REC shows available HERE at UTR


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