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Valise is a group that has been together for many years, just putting out their debut album this spring, which means unfortunately and consequently they have flown under the radar for far too long. But after a supporting tour with Copeland, and another current tour supporting Macy Gray, these guys are bound to start getting the attention they deserve.

Valise met at school in Dallas, Texas and together decided they would rather be making music. From the sound of their new album, Young Bloomer, it is apparent that they experimented with every style and genre, landing somewhere difficult to qualify. Listening through the album, it’s easy to hear the influence of many current alternative and pop giants, like Phoenix, Death Cab for Cutie or most especially, Copeland. In the past they’ve worked with Aaron Marsh and Matt Wilbur of Copeland, and you can hear that influence in every track. Regardless of influence though, what Valise has created with Young Bloomer is an alt-pop album with stunning range.

“Dialogue” feels like the opening to a movie, sweet and simple, whereas “Airport Pt 1” instantly personifies the feeling when your throat catches, thinking of something sad and wonderful. “Strange Light” is undoubtedly one of the best tracks on the album, with a guitar melody that gets under your skin and a heavily reverbed keys part that feels foreign and haunting. Valise is incredibly deft at creating simple sounds that feel universes different from one another.

Every album has its place. We all have our quintessential break-up albums, our getting pumped jams, our angry driving in the car playlists, and Young Bloomer has its own place in that lineup. Even though these guys are from Texas, what they’ve created with Young Bloomer is the perfect Portland winter album. After listening to every catchy, trippy, and ultimately melancholy note, it’s safe to say Young Bloomer is the one you’ll want to reach for as we stumble into another long, lovely winter. »

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– Sarah Eaton

Valise opens for Macy Gray November 8 at Revolution Hall