I always find it intriguing when bands incorporate string sections in songs. Often they can sound dramatic or sombre or powerful, but it can be hard for it to be an element that doesn’t overpower the rest of the song. In the case of “Charlie Gray” by the Dallas band, Valise, it acts as a contrasting texture to the vocoder and the almost youthfully urgent, rattling drums.
To be quite honest, Vince Penick’s vocals threw me off guard; I didn’t expect them to sound the way they did (in a suprisingly good way) and it hit me from left field – the first time this happened in a while. The production work has meshed loads of ideas together with varying influences and genres, it feels like Valise are shooting for something more substantial and broad in their music and I like that.
Comparisons between them and current tour-mates Death Cab For Cutie have been tossed around but I feel from this song specifically, that they have enough going for them to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack.
After conquering the Dallas music scene, it could very easily be up and forward onto bigger things.
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