The internet is a wondrous place, isn’t it? Within its unlimited space lives an infinite amount of amazing things to uncover. It would likely take ten lifetimes to find half of all the music that lives in the deep caverns of Spotify and SoundCloud. Perhaps it’s for that reason that stumbling across a real gem of an artist feels so rewarding.
So who or what is this gem? Glad you asked. Introducing: Sam Valdez and her latest EP, Mirage.
Born in Las Vegas but currently residing in Los Angeles, Valdez brings both a fresh and familiar air to the world with her music. At times she’s like Lana Del Rey with a bit more Americana, at other times she’s Beach House with a bit more folk. But regardless of where she lands on which spectrum and any moment, it always sounds fantastic.
Mirage sits at five tracks, each unique in its own way but not so different that they don’t make sense in the context of the overall piece. To start the project's journey, she opens things up the pulsing and lush song, “It’s Alright.” The song focuses on relationships and all the twists and turns that come along with them. And just like her subject matter, her vocals and the instruments behind them bend and flow in and out of the picture.
As the project progresses, Valdez keeps things similar yet also different. Like the drive from LA to Vegas, Valdez paints the landscape with a constant sound but drops in colorful patches of verdant melodies here and there. Take track four, “Carnival,” for example. While "Carnival" feels in tune with the other songs on the project, it has weightlessness about it that separates it from the rest. It relies entirely upon a revolving guitar loop and leaves the percussions as an afterthought until they slowly slink in around halfway through. All the while, Valdez speaks to a loved one, dubbing them a “shitty prize at a carnival,” wrestling with her desire for a pointless trinket.
From start to finish, Mirage packs a complex lushness to it. Whether contemplating the ups and downs of a relationship, the quick changes of life or the pointlessness of love, Sam Valdez delivers rich folk that feels made for long drives and all the dreamers sitting shotgun, starring out at the landscape flying by.
Enjoy the EP above and be sure to keep your eyes and ears locked right here on EARMILK for all things Sam Valdez.