Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Danielle Duval: "Of The Valley" (album review)

Montreal-native, Toronto-resident Danielle Duval releases her first full length record on May 29th.  The album, Of The Valley, was produced by the Zeus tandem of Carlin Nicholson and Mike O'Brien.
Duval doesn't have a lot of tricks and gimmicks to unload on you.  She doesn't strip it down to the bare (ie boring) folk basis either.  Instead she opts for pretty straightforward rock with a pop flare.

A pop sensibility creeps into the fray.  The lead single "Abulance" is catchy without being sappy.  "Eagle Cathedral" is slick, effortless fun.  A bold rhythm section helps power the irrepressible "Day Becomes Night".

A twang is a warm, welcoming sound on a number of tracks.  It makes one feels they are lurching back and forth atop their best filly on "Imposter".  It creates a dingy barroom atmosphere on "We Got It Made", and turns the album closer, "The Start", into a full-on weeper.

The start-and-stop vocal cadence of "You Can't Come Any Closer" cedes way to an old fashioned piano rag outro.  It's amazing the amount of depth a well-placed cello can bring, as heard on "The Wild".

The Zeus boys are not the only big-name Canadian musicians involved.  Duval as recruited Bahamas, Jason Collett, and members of The Golden Dogs to pitch in.  Not so bad for a debut album is it?

Danielle Duval plays a CD release show at The Dakota in Toronto on May 29th and plays The Rivoli as part of NXNE on June 15th.

Best tracks: "Imposter", "Ambulance"

Track listing for Of The Valley:
  • Control
  • You Can't Come Any Closer
  • Day Becomes Night
  • Imposter
  • It's Obvious
  • Ambulance
  • The Wild
  • Sundowner
  • Eagle Cathedral
  • We Got It Made
  • Did You See It Coming?
  • The Start

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