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:
- You Can't Come Any Closer
- Day Becomes Night
- It's Obvious
- The Wild
- Eagle Cathedral
- We Got It Made
- Did You See It Coming?
- The Start