HURT VALLEY - Glacial Pace LP

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Enigmatic SoCal singer / songwriter’s debut album conjures dreamy and melancholic, sun-drenched folk pop.

"LA-based musician Brian Collins records music as Hurt Valley. He makes loosely psychedelic, often rollicking songs that feel like they came from a simpler time, before you realize that the simpler time you’re thinking about never really existed in the first place, and you’re just romanticizing a past that was as complicated as the present.

All this is to say that Collins makes songs that sound like they’re ripped from a forgotten private press record from decades gone but imbued with the weight of right now. Glacial Pace opener “Geology Dreamer” is anthemic and sad, an end-of-the-night (or, let’s face it, end of the world) jam that crumbles under lyrics about love and (healthy) obsession and getting through shit with people you love and trust.

The last track on the album, “Immaterial Worlds” acts as a mirror image to the opener. Where “Geology Dreamer” hits hard and woozy, “Immaterial Worlds” is soft and intricate, a nakedly contemplative end to an album that sneaks up on you no matter where you might be when you hear it.

Listening to Glacial Pace will no doubt evoke a number of complicated feelings about how you could be living differently, or more simply. The songs here are something of a roadmap to understanding how we got where we are, and what it all means. It doesn’t so much give answers as it does is point us toward observations that might push us to question who we are and what we do. Is there a better way to explain modern existence than the line “All we ever do is create immaterial worlds no one occupies in real life”?" - Sam Hockley-Smith