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New LP from Valley Latini employs sad cowgirl vibes and Colombian cloud forest aura to overcome heartbreak

Still frame from "Rosas" music video directed by Ana Maria Hernandez. If you prefer to skip straight to the interview with Valley Latini (and who can blame you!) scroll down past the music videos to the jump.

If you’ve never been to a cloud forest before you should add it to your bucket list asap and no I’m not taking about the forest moon of Endor because who needs a bunch of tribal teddy bears dry humping your leg especially when you can visit a cloud forest right here on Planet Earth namely in Colombia—located less than an hour due west from Bogota and due south-by-southeast from Medellin—where you’ll find a vast expanse of rolling peaks and valleys nestled in the West Andes known as Valle de Cocora named after an ancient Quimbayan princess whose name literally meaning “star of water”…

…a fittingly uncanny image for the uncanny landscapes of Valle de Cocora where Heaven and Earth seem to collide with vaporous clouds rolling down from the heavens and blanketing the valley’s cliffsides and majestic wax palms soaring into the sky as far as 200 feet (by way of comparison LA or Miami palm trees top out at around 50 feet) like magic beanstalks sprouting up from valley clearings with the trees’ solitary nature only underscoring their towering profiles and truly it’s the most magnificent, surrealist natural scenery I’ve ever laid eyes on something like a Fernando Botero landscape come to life…

…and yeah I know what you’re probably thinking but don’t worry The Deli isn’t about to switch over to becoming a travel blog even if that’d no doubt be more lucrative, i.e. lucrative at all, but instead I’m sharing this recollection of Valle de Cocora as a useful point of comparison to the music of Bogota-born-and-raised-up-until-her-early-teens singer-songwriter-guitarist-keyboarist-programmer-producer Valley Latini who subsequently did stints in Texas and Tennessee before settling in New York City and who just released her first full-length record Attention Lover last Friday…

…seeing as the album gives me a similar “uncanny valley” vibe as those Colombian cloud forests about 2,500 miles from where I sit now with Valley’s etherial-oft-upper-upper-register vocals floating across the songs’ sonic landscapes like a sheer gossamer veil but delivered with a vertiginous, sensuous assurance not heard perhaps since Jane Birkin paid breathy homage to “La Décadanse” while grinding her hips against her forever-dishelveled twenty-years-her-senior songwriting-genius-lover Serge Gainsbourg’s, erm, serge...

…except her vocal delivery is less “Gallic cool” than “Tropical heat” trapped in an urban heat bubble and much like the cloud forest’s enveloping fog that forms when high pressure and low pressure masses of air come into contact with one other in perfect equilibrium and likewise there's a simlar alchemy when Valley’s airy vocals come in contact with the earthy "dark pop" side of her music—e.g., close-mic’ed vivid guitar strumming and buzzing pulsating synths and programmed “Dembow” type beats slowed down and blunted out to the point where they sound like dancehall riddims on promethazine—which you can hear in distilled form on track four “Black River” to take but one good example…

…or check out the next track “Romona Dolly” to sample the other side of Valley Latini’s musical spectrum, a waltz-time acoustic guitar ballad that comes across like a campfire-side psych-folk revisionist-feminist Spaghetti Western title song and it’s never quite clear whether the listener is meant to feel melancholy or sensuality or hallucinatory dislocation from her music but heck why not jump into all three states of being at once if not more…

…and maybe that’s why Colombia’s Valle de Cocora represents a sixth of the world’s biodiversity (!) with its rich array of tree sloths, llamas, peacocks, pumas, roosters, mountain tapers, and hummingbirds making themselves at home alongside the other species (including the endangered spectacled bear that is the only remaining bear species native to South America) seeing as how meteorological extremes (or emotional extremes) often result in a certain biological fecundity…

…and speaking of fecundity Valley Latini’s music is, by nearly any metric, sensual as heck (promise that’s the last time I’ll use that word in this review and I mean ‘sensual’ not ‘heck’!) in an inclusive, body-positive sense, an impression only heightened by Valley’s self-directed and co-directed music videos whether it's the pole-dancing skills on display in “Ask Me Why” and “Rosas” (joining forces on the latter track with her fellow Colombian-born, New York based compatriot Slic who was profiled here a couple months ago) or the playful, satirical stop-motion animation of “Tu Y Yo”…

…which draws upon a collage of Valley’s own heaven-and-hell-themed artwork—with animation assistance from Tara R. Sampson and Mo Go—which culminates with an ascent to the heavens via a dancer’s pole that leads to the entrance of a “Haux House” above the clouds, or the Tarantino-esque grainy grindhouse throwback vibes of “Blonde” with its rooftop hot tub and other exotic settings that capture "the feeling of having a sordid love affair" (opening dialogue: “Did you get the money shot yet?” “This whole shot is the money shot.”) which taken together feature dozens of beguiling fashions and locales for your best entertainment value....

…and suddenly I’ve got a mental image of wax palm trees once again except now their slender pole-like trunks have been transformed into (wait for it…) giant dancer poles for larger-than-life Incan deities like Mama Quilla/Kilya/Killa or Blunderbore if he ever went the way of Magic Mike and btw all the aforementioned videos were made for singles not included on Attention Lover (German title: Achtung Liebhaber!) which just goes to show the fecundity of Valley’s songwriting output, singles which I’ve comped up for your/my listening pleasure on a Spot-I-Fried playlist

..but hey that’s enough from me cuz no doubt you’ve had your fill of my ramblings about the biodiversity of Colombian cloud forests and pole dancing Incan deities and would be grateful to get some insights from the source itself so it’s lucky for us Valley shared a capsule bio with The Deli and then we had a nice convo on the phone too so continue reading after jump to learn more about Valley Latini’s background and what she had to say about her music and about some of the individual songs on Attention Lover. (Jason Lee)



I’m from everywhere. I call everywhere home. The only place I ever moved to was New York City. Other places I ended up by circumstance or moving with my family.

I never know what genre to call my music. I don’t f—ing know. After several people who listened to the record told me it’s got a country and western vibe and I was good with that. I always wanted to do a record with a “sad cowgirl” vibe. Dolly Parton is such a big inspiration. I was standing so close to it that I couldn’t see the whole thing. I’m so inspired by her guitar playing and songwriting. The queen of rhinestones. She inspired me to start bedazzling my guitars.

Attention Lover is inspired by the melancholy in my life. The realness. The whole album is a love story from beginning to end with a tragic ending. It tells a story. I may be a familiar story, but the songs are chronological in terms of the relationship and I wrote and worked on a lot of them with the person I was dating at the time which is the overall subject of the songs too so there’s a Fleetwood Mac vibe. It goes to show how life changes, how you can go from being with this person and writing 2 or 3 songs per day to not talking to them on their birthday.

I generally write so much that I don’t have the time in the year to release all the songs I’ve written. I’d never thought about putting an album together. Songwriting was just something to do everyday. Why not write amazing songs and make amazing records? 

Being artistic runs in the family. My grandmother was a painter and my uncle played in an orchestra in Germany. My grandfather was a music critic for a Colombian newspaper covering practical music concerts. My mom put me in piano lessons since I was five years old. Ever since then had a feeling this is what I wanted to do. There was else I wanted to do. I’m not the type of person to have a job orhave anyone boss me around. I was bad at homework in school because it was someone else giving me an assignment.

I’ve got a recording setup in my Brooklyn apartment. A digital interface, guitars, keyboard. I used Logic Pro to collaborate with co-writers like Avi Snow (“Serpiente”), Ben Cina (“Ask Me Why”) and Mike Dextro (“Tu Y Yo”) on all the songs except “Ramona Dolly.” Slic wrote with me on “Rosas” and “Illicit” and a production team helped with working on “Caravan.”

And I'm grateful to mixing engineer Rachel Alina who had her students mix all of my songs and I got to pick the best mixes. That’s her business. She’s such a supportive friend. I direct or co-direct all the music videos—come up with concepts, direct and edit all of them. I’m in charge of every area of my art including the production of the songs, putting every single element out there myself.


“Black River”: Just more like a state of mind. It talks about depression. Sometimes it’s important to sit with your sadness and you can learn so much from that.

“Ramona Dolly”: About not being somebody’s everything—trying to be their best friend, lover, everything. Expectations in relationships are so highly romantic so that when people start not fulfilling expectations that are already too high it causes problems.

“Shadow”: A song about being blinded by love and not seeing somebody for who they are. Not seeing all sides because you’re fixated on the idea of being with them. The bad side or the shadow side. Not realizing this person is not for me, ignoring all the signs.

“Labios De Juul” (“Lips of Juul”): About a relationship with a girlfriend where was always smoking the Juul and now I always am, The appreciation of her, so inspiring to me.

“How Do I?” is about boundaries and learning to find them. L

“Let You Go” is about coming to the ealization, the awareness that you have to let go.



Band name: 
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The Brooklyn Monarch
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On new single/music video November Girl gets stuck in the mud but sisterhood saves the day

Today we are honoured to premiere November Girl’s new single “Keychain” alongside an accompanying short film just be forewarned that if consumed together in one sitting the song and video could potentially melt your face clean off so maybe wear one of those full-protection virus visor thingies at the very least…

…a short film we’ve been informed is “a Car Stuck Girls-inspired music video directed by Lola Daehler” who’s also known as Death Recruiter but don’t let that or the closeness of her last name to “Dahmer” fool you because Lola only slays on stage (to our knowledge anyway!) as the frontperson/bassist for Homade and seeing as we’re entirely unfamiliar with “Car Stuck Girl” videos (*cough cough*) we reached out to November Girl's front girl Willa Beck and she was kind enough to explain it’s “a genre of pornography in which girls get their cars stuck” and you can probably guess the rest from there (insert chosen car pun here, or see below) or perhaps you can’t which is okay cuz we find it’s best not to make too many assumptions about the kids these days

…which as it turns out was the right call to make because November Girl and Ms. Daehler don’t take genre conventions for granted either seeing as by their own account the “Keychain” video flips the script on all those vehicle-based dirty (literally!) movies and instead to the contrary “ends up actually being quite wholesome” which is in keeping with how “everything November Girl does plays with this virgin / whore dichotomy” and now I’m beginning to see the light...

…but nonetheless having never been a November Girl nor a girl period virgin or whore or otherwise it’ll always be a stretch for me to fully understand so I reached out to Willa B. once again for further exegesis and she kindly spilled the beans when it comes to the “key” for unlocking “Keychain” so ya see it never hurts to ask:

“Keychain” is a song about sisterhood and the day-to-day mundanity of your teen-years and young adulthood actually becoming quite special and profound when you’re with your girls. There’s a certain admiration with which you look at your sisters, and “Keychain” captures this.

…all of which makes total sense now listening again tho’ admittedly the statement above makes it sound like the song is something like an update of Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” and hey maybe it is but “Keychain” is more fittingly slotted under “indie rock” than “girly pop” even tho’ you’ve still you’ve got elements of the latter with a sweet dream-poppy vibe overall and some pretty wispy backing vocals but also some harsher, more aggressive tones too not to mention a nicely buoyant-yet-down-in-it grungy chorus that’s got a whiff of Japanese Breakfast to it with extra wasabi...

…tho’ you could make just as strong a case for Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders just be aware this is all pure conjuncture on our part no doubt you’ll pick out your own musical touchstones and did you know it’s coming up on the 25th anniversary of Spice World which in this reviewer’s view is vastly underrated (both the film and the soundtrack!) not to mention quintessentially late ‘90s with cameos by Elvis Costello and Bob Geldof and Jennifer Saunders of Ab Fab fame alongside many more which just goes to show the Spice Girls were always way cooler than anyone gave them credit for at the time…

…and then as if that’s not enough toward the end of “Keychain” there’s a guitar solo that’s downright Robert Quine-like with its slashing angularity and fuzzy-headed tonality (see below!) an influential journeyman post-punk guitarist that I wouldn’t expect the kids today to know (I mean, sheesh, even the Spice Girls are a full generation removed from Gen Z today which is a little shocking for a Gen X’er to realize) but then again it’s best to take nothing for granted cuz the kids today are pretty damn savvy and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that November Girl is into Richard Hell or Lou Reed not to mention Marianne Faithfull or Tom Waits or heck even Fred Maher


…but we’ll have to investigate further on such matters and in the meantime we can tell you without hesitation November Girl has some very cool band-branded garments over at their online shop (which upon further examination looks like they’re all sold out but oh well the pictures themselves are pretty choice) and also one of more of its members are Scorpios which means they’re unsparing but also fiercely loyal with their friends which just brings home the whole “sisterhood” angle unlike those stubborn, uptight September Gurls haha just kidding all you Virgos and Libras we love ya…

…and finally don’t forget to head on over to the Deli Instagram page at your earliest convenience to view a bunch of exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from the “Keychain” music video shoot—a shoot that in part took place upstate at the music studio/animal farm/heavy petting sanctuary known as Holy Fang with BTS stills generously provided by Alexis K—shots all but guaranteed to get your goat but in a good way or we’ll refund your money assuming those upstate goats didn’t eat all those dead presidents already… (Jason Lee)

RIP Christine McVie


Alt Rock

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The Dracu-Las
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Pet Shop
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The Black Black/Kissed By An Animal release split single about how "Songs About New York" are bringing them down

From the golden age of Tin Pan Alley about a century ago to the golden showers age of Meet Me in the Bathroom-era indie sleaze and beyond, songwriters do seem to love writing songs about New York City or at least many of them do and while one could easily make a case for there being more memorable and outright iconic songs about NYC than pretty much anywhere else in the world it’s equally true tho’ not as widely noted that there’s lots and lots of crappy songs about NYC too…

…one example being Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “Island Girl,” a song largely forgotten today despite topping the charts back in 1975 and for good reason too seeing as it’s a cringe-worthy condescending ode to a six-foot-three “Jamaican honey so sweet / down where Lexington cross 47th Street […] turning tricks for the dudes in the big city” with lyrics that reinforce at least one hoary racist or whorey trope for every bump of coke Elton and Bernie must’ve done when they were writing the thing (allegedly!) not to mention some faux West Indian articulations and a bizarre kazoo/keyboard/marimba solo section I sh*t you not…

…and then jumping ahead 40 years you got Taylor Swift and Ryan Tedder’s “Welcome to New York City,” a song lambasted for being “the worst ode to NYC ever” and for being a “gentrification anthem...[written] for its transient oligarch class” with T-Swizz pimping her new hometown via a string of tourism brochure platitudes and bland “poptimist“ electro-pop uplift although at least it includes a couple pro-LGBTQ+ lines fit for mass consumption that even if perfunctory (or not!) who cares in the end cuz who can know what mysteries lie deep within Miss Tay Tay’s heart…

…and when it comes to songs about NYC it’s a matter not only of quality but also of quantity cuz there’s soooo many songs about NYC already in existence which has gotta make it pretty tough to come up with a non-hackneyed angle on the city and really how many ways are there to say “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” or to praise “streets [that] make you feel brand new [with] big lights to inspire you”…

…and even if you're looking to write more of an outlier song with NYC-related lyrical content it’s a safe bet almost every random piece of NYC marginalia you can imagine has been addressed at least once or twice before in song like how back in the ‘70s there were not just one but two songs by major artists named for the notorious “Coney Island Whitefish” which I would not recommend ordering from your local fish market even if you are running low on tartar sauce…

…which is all a moot point to the likes of Hiro, Dima, Johnny and John seeing as the musical foursome “fucking hate songs about New York”—and isn’t this the most “New York” take one could take on songs about New York possible—as explored further on “Songs About New York” which is the title track twice iterated appearing on both sides of the split seven-inch recently released by The Black Black and Kissed By An Animal (EWEL Records) two bands with an overlapping keep-it-in-the-family membership while remaining almost entirely non-incentuous in sonic terms seeing as how “KBAA move through tight, clean punk into melodic power pop, while TBB bring their unique brand of bass-driven post punk groove” according to the EWEL’s official press release

…and it’s a clever conceit to be sure having both bands record their own versions of the title song (alongside one bonus cut each) because not only do they cleverly bypass the whole “another stupid song about New York” quandary with a song about stupid songs about New York sharing a set of lyrics and a main vocal hook between them but otherwise we’re talking two totally different bags of apples...

…a conceit that (arguably) acts as a critique of the Big Apple’s oft-vainglorious sense of self-regard because as usual the mirror has two faces—the one shown to the outside world and the one more hidden away which is not to imply those two sides are always clearly distinguishable—and whether we’re talking about a split-single or a split-personality the two sides reflect and refract one another while standing along in their own right too like a double-helix strand of DNA where neither side is considered the “A Side” or the “B Side” it’s far more dialectical than that…

…or to put it more in layman’s terms the new KBAA/TBB split-single totally rips while simultaneously ripping a new one for all those clichéd songs about New York and ripping at the very fabric of ontological/representational self-certainty ideal for fans of bands like The Hives, The Vines, The Seeds, Oh Sees, Parquet Courts, Television, Radiohead, TV On The Radio, TVOD, Cinemax After Dark, Red Shoe Diaries, Midnight Blue, New Wave Theater, The Corey Hotline and Freddie Freaker and the single comes in numerous hues and shades such as periwinkle putrid pink, grape Shasta, and ‘70s shag avocado but the color is chosen at random so order at least 10 copies (out of a limited run of 200!) to increase your chances of getting a cool one… (Jason Lee)


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