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Alternativa & Indie - Publicado el 6 de mayo de 2013 | Sunday Best

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Pushin' Against a Stone, Valerie June's Concord debut, is the fruit of over a decade of dues paying by the native Tennessean after three self-released "bootleg" recordings. While her music is steeped in various musical traditions of the South -- blues, black and country gospel, soul, and Appalachian folk -- she combines them so idiosyncratically, with canny production from Kevin Agunas and Dan Auerbach, that they openly embrace the possibilities of pop. June's instantly recognizable voice is big and reedy; standing firmly out front here, it falls in a lineage line between Eartha Kitt and Erykah Badu, with hints of the young Esther Phillips and even Dolly Parton. (For examples of the latter, check the string band waltz "Tennessee Time" or the world-weary folk narrative "Twined & Twisted.") While tradition is paramount in June's songs, it includes the present, making her the antithesis of a purist. Check opener "Workin' Woman Blues," where a skittering drumkit underscores urgent acoustic guitars, a funky bassline, and a jazzy, bumping, funky trumpet (reminiscent of Blue Mitchell) in a droning, griot-like blues. "The Hour" borrows the intro and outro from "I Put a Spell on You," and points to the darkness in the lyrics of the second verse. Yet the rest of the tune is a hybrid of early-'60s girl group pop and soul, complete with three-part harmony and a swelling B-3. That intro also makes its presence felt on the title track, adorned with wailing, fuzzed-out electric guitar atop a B-3 pulse, and June's delivery moves through Ray Charles' informed soul and Thomas A. Dorsey-infused gospel in the backing chorus. The only cover here is Estil C. Ball's "Trials, Troubles, Tribulations." It's an acoustic guitar and vocal duet (with Auerbach) that comes right out of the Carter Family but sounds contemporary. "Wanna Be on Your Mind," with its Rhodes piano and June's emphatic phrasing, references Phillips' early-'70s jazz-blues style. "Somebody to Love" is a ukulele and fiddle waltz, but it is soul, treated and gospelized by June's vocal and Booker T. Jones' organ. The single "You Can't Be Told" is a swampy blues with Jimbo Mathus on lead guitar that recalls R.L. Burnside in instrumentation, but June's delivery and her four-part call-and-response backing chorus make it a hypnotic, swaying groover. "Shotgun" features the songwriter accompanied only by her own bottleneck guitar offering a murder ballad. Its presentation is so subtle and smooth, it becomes jarring when the listener takes in the lyric. Despite her slippery blend of styles, June's songs on Pushin' Against a Stone reveal there is one historical place she doesn't deviate from: the storyteller's, a Southern hallmark. Despite being a shade too long, this is a solid endeavor that asks many questions even as spins its tales. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Alternativa & Indie - Publicado el 6 de mayo de 2013 | Sunday Best

Premios 4F de Télérama
Pushin' Against a Stone, Valerie June's Concord debut, is the fruit of over a decade of dues paying by the native Tennessean after three self-released "bootleg" recordings. While her music is steeped in various musical traditions of the South -- blues, black and country gospel, soul, and Appalachian folk -- she combines them so idiosyncratically, with canny production from Kevin Agunas and Dan Auerbach, that they openly embrace the possibilities of pop. June's instantly recognizable voice is big and reedy; standing firmly out front here, it falls in a lineage line between Eartha Kitt and Erykah Badu, with hints of the young Esther Phillips and even Dolly Parton. (For examples of the latter, check the string band waltz "Tennessee Time" or the world-weary folk narrative "Twined & Twisted.") While tradition is paramount in June's songs, it includes the present, making her the antithesis of a purist. Check opener "Workin' Woman Blues," where a skittering drumkit underscores urgent acoustic guitars, a funky bassline, and a jazzy, bumping, funky trumpet (reminiscent of Blue Mitchell) in a droning, griot-like blues. "The Hour" borrows the intro and outro from "I Put a Spell on You," and points to the darkness in the lyrics of the second verse. Yet the rest of the tune is a hybrid of early-'60s girl group pop and soul, complete with three-part harmony and a swelling B-3. That intro also makes its presence felt on the title track, adorned with wailing, fuzzed-out electric guitar atop a B-3 pulse, and June's delivery moves through Ray Charles' informed soul and Thomas A. Dorsey-infused gospel in the backing chorus. The only cover here is Estil C. Ball's "Trials, Troubles, Tribulations." It's an acoustic guitar and vocal duet (with Auerbach) that comes right out of the Carter Family but sounds contemporary. "Wanna Be on Your Mind," with its Rhodes piano and June's emphatic phrasing, references Phillips' early-'70s jazz-blues style. "Somebody to Love" is a ukulele and fiddle waltz, but it is soul, treated and gospelized by June's vocal and Booker T. Jones' organ. The single "You Can't Be Told" is a swampy blues with Jimbo Mathus on lead guitar that recalls R.L. Burnside in instrumentation, but June's delivery and her four-part call-and-response backing chorus make it a hypnotic, swaying groover. "Shotgun" features the songwriter accompanied only by her own bottleneck guitar offering a murder ballad. Its presentation is so subtle and smooth, it becomes jarring when the listener takes in the lyric. Despite her slippery blend of styles, June's songs on Pushin' Against a Stone reveal there is one historical place she doesn't deviate from: the storyteller's, a Southern hallmark. Despite being a shade too long, this is a solid endeavor that asks many questions even as spins its tales. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Soul - Publicado el 12 de marzo de 2021 | Fantasy

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Con The Order of Time (2017), el talento de Valerie June brilló aún más que en Pushin’ Against a Stone (2013), álbum producido por Dan Auerbach de los Black Keys. En marzo 2021, nos reencontramos con la cálida voz blues’n’folk’n’soul’n’country de la cantante de Brooklyn, Tennessee, pero en un envoltorio más exuberante. Coproducido por ella misma y por Jack Splash, The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers iba a salir a principios de 2020, pero su discográfica prefirió guardarlo un año, debido a la pandemia... Este álbum es probablemente su trabajo más personal y sincero. En su dualidad ciudad/campo y espiritual/concreto, Valerie June resulta bastante singular. Domina las músicas americanas de raíz, como el blues del Delta o el country de los Apalaches, sin dejar de ser una espectadora del mundo en el que vive y de sus turbulencias, mientras pasa de una guitarra acústica a un sintetizador barato en un chasquido de dedos… Con este estilo que ella describe como “organic moonshine roots music”, deja de lado esta vez cierto groove para vestir sus canciones con un halo onírico y a menudo melancólico (Colors) o incluso para convertirlas en grandes masas de soul que coquetean con el gospel (Call Me A Fool, con Carla Thomas como invitada). Como Brittany Howard de Alabama Shakes o a la manera del Van Morrison de Astral Weeks, Valerie June nunca se limita a un estilo. ¡Ella es un estilo! Y se deja llevar por todos los vientos, por todas las ideas. Como cuando publicó, simultáneamente a este disco, un libro de poemas, dibujos y homilías (Maps for the Modern World, Andrews McMeel Publishing) o cuando grabó cantos de pájaros en la casa de su familia en Humboldt, Tennessee, y los mezcló con los sonidos de cuencos tibetanos para hacer el instrumental Starlight Ethereal Silence, que cierra este magnífico disco a modo de relajante meditación. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Pop - Publicado el 10 de marzo de 2017 | Concord Records

Hi-Res Libreto
Following up her critically lauded 2013 label debut, Pushin' Against a Stone, Tennessean Valerie June offers The Order of Time, an ethereal dream sequence of Americana and roots music filtered through her own unique tendencies. What's refreshing about June is her gift for nuance, working unhurriedly through tones of Appalachian folk, gospel, blues, and even dream pop without feeling the need to hit listeners over the head with an overwrought delivery or even draw that much attention to her own stylistic diversity. With The Order of Time, she exudes the languid pace of the South with poetic songs and spacy arrangements that breeze out through the screen door. Though crowded with standouts, it's an album best enjoyed in full with a sequence that ebbs and flows with emotion and hidden intentions. From the sweet and slow nostalgia of "Long Lonely Road" to the droning enchantments of "If And" and the gently rousing dream-soul of "Got Soul," June weaves her strange and inviting spell, making it all seem so nonchalant. Her relaxed vocal style is distinctive and the frequent doubling of her vocal lines gives the songs a strangely alluring vibe amid the expansive organ, piano, and guitar parts. Where the slightly showier Pushin' Against a Stone covered a wider variety of styles, The Order of Time tends to flow more smoothly and gives the feeling that you've stumbled on a 45-minute section of ongoing music that has no beginning and no end. © Timothy Monger /TiVo
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Soul - Publicado el 9 de octubre de 2020 | Fantasy

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Pop - Publicado el 8 de septiembre de 2017 | Concord Records

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Pop - Publicado el 9 de agosto de 2019 | Fantasy

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Pop - Publicado el 10 de marzo de 2017 | Concord Records

Following up her critically lauded 2013 label debut, Pushin' Against a Stone, Tennessean Valerie June offers The Order of Time, an ethereal dream sequence of Americana and roots music filtered through her own unique tendencies. What's refreshing about June is her gift for nuance, working unhurriedly through tones of Appalachian folk, gospel, blues, and even dream pop without feeling the need to hit listeners over the head with an overwrought delivery or even draw that much attention to her own stylistic diversity. With The Order of Time, she exudes the languid pace of the South with poetic songs and spacy arrangements that breeze out through the screen door. Though crowded with standouts, it's an album best enjoyed in full with a sequence that ebbs and flows with emotion and hidden intentions. From the sweet and slow nostalgia of "Long Lonely Road" to the droning enchantments of "If And" and the gently rousing dream-soul of "Got Soul," June weaves her strange and inviting spell, making it all seem so nonchalant. Her relaxed vocal style is distinctive and the frequent doubling of her vocal lines gives the songs a strangely alluring vibe amid the expansive organ, piano, and guitar parts. Where the slightly showier Pushin' Against a Stone covered a wider variety of styles, The Order of Time tends to flow more smoothly and gives the feeling that you've stumbled on a 45-minute section of ongoing music that has no beginning and no end. © Timothy Monger /TiVo
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Alternativa & Indie - Publicado el 1 de octubre de 2013 | Sunday Best

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Pop - Publicado el 12 de abril de 2019 | Fantasy

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Alternativa & Indie - Publicado el 10 de abril de 2013 | Sunday Best

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Pop - Publicado el 14 de febrero de 2018 | Concord Records

Pop - Publicado el 17 de noviembre de 2017 | Concord Records

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Alternativa & Indie - Publicado el 28 de octubre de 2012 | Sunday Best

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Alternativa & Indie - Publicado el 20 de enero de 2013 | Sunday Best

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Soul - Publicado el 11 de junio de 2021 | Fantasy

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Alternativa & Indie - Publicado el 20 de enero de 2013 | Sunday Best

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Ambientes - Publicado el 22 de noviembre de 2019 | Fantasy

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Ambientes - Publicado el 22 de noviembre de 2019 | Fantasy

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Alternativa & Indie - Publicado el 10 de abril de 2013 | Sunday Best

El intérprete

Valerie June en el Magazine
  • Valerie June nos hace soñar
    Valerie June nos hace soñar Con “The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers”, la cantante de Tennessee embarca la música soul en un novedoso y onírico viaje...