Sweet Valley: Stay Calm & Eternal Champ
As if Nathan Williams didn’t have it good enough with the popularity of his buzzy California noise project Wavves, he decided to change gears entirely and form Sweet Valley with his brother Kynan.
Stay Calm is laid back and ADD-inducing all at once. It feels sort of like a mashup album, but one in which all the samples come from sources you’ve never heard of. All their sample choices melt together so well that it truly creates a new experience of laid back, druggy, shuffling electronic music. Mixing everything from doo wop to trap beats, it’s not like anything else you’ll hear.
Eternal Champ followed within a couple months, and saw Sweet Valley evolved and mature as if overnight. If nothing else, it’s impressive to experience creative growth in almost real time. This album, while sonically similar to the first, cleans things up a bit, and washes everything in a Merriweather-era-Animal-Collective-esque bliss. And, somehow, they’ve managed to pull in influences from both reggae and 8-bit video game music.
Like I said, listening to Sweet Valley is an exercise in focus given how quickly the landscape changes from minute to minute, but it’s also a lesson in creativity and artistic growth.
Standout tracks: “One,” “Suzuka 9 Hours”
Listen to Stay Calm on Spotify and Rdio. Buy on Amazon.
Download Eternal Champ for free.