Out in support of his excellent third album, Imaginary Music, English retro electro-pop crooner Chad Valley is set to make a rare return to Nashville tonight, Sept. 5 to headline The High Watt. One of the most criminally underrated pop projects of the past few years, Valley (the musical alter-ego of producer Hugo Manuel) has been a favorite of ours since his earliest singles first landed online, and the growth and range he’s displayed on numerous full-lengths and EPs since has cemented his status as an essential modern pop artist. Joined by two exciting and new local projects, Peachy and The High Tides, tickets are still available right here, so grab yours now and read on for more about the show!
After spinning his retro, pop-tinged early bedroom demos into a full band, Jonquil, Oxford, England based producer and multi-instrumentalist Hugo Manuel took on a solo outlet once more as Chad Valley, first as a side project, and then as his predominant musical vehicle, after positive early press and buzz throughout the blogosphere fast gained the singer a cult following. Arriving at the tail end of the chillwave fad, Valley certainly takes synthy, wistful, retro cues from acts in that scene like Neon Indian and Ariel Pink, but Manuel’s clear affinity for slicker, hi-fi, expensive pop records of decades’ past (coupled with his genuinely incredible voice, something not every distorted chillwave singer could claim) managed to set him apart, and help Chad Valley endure, as by the time his full-length debut, Young Hunger, arrived in 2012, chillwave was mostly burnt out. Unabashedly poppy, Valley is a love letter to ’80s dance rock and modern synth pop, with retro melodic tendencies and sweeping synths that you can’t help but dance to. With 2015 sophomore effort Entirely New Blue and this year’s excellent Imaginary Music, Hugo has continued to perfect and hone his criminally underrated sound, which the rest of indie pop has seemingly caught up to as of late, with ’80s synth tones suddenly all the rage. Few are crafting it with the lush, layered, and creative range of Chad Valley though, and with his rather infrequent stops in Nashville over the years, this show is all the more essential for fans of quality pop.
We don’t know a lot about local newcomers Peachy yet, and that’s because the project only launched earlier this year. The trio of apparent students have just two singles to their name, “Heartbreaker,” released back in the spring, and new jam “Beautiful Liar,” both of which showcase an excellent knack for pop hooks, retro synth tones, and layered instrumentation, all of which make them a great fit for this lineup. It seems the band only recently began playing out (we’ve seen a local “Peachy” on some punk-skewing DIY shows in recent, but we’re not entirely sure if it’s this Peachy), so come discover a new project with a ton of potential!
THE HIGH TIDES
Also relatively new to the scene, local trio The High Tides formed last year, and released their debut EP, Shake Life, soon after. Fusing influences of ’70s and ’80s psychedelia with modern day indie, their sounds lands as a sort of dreamy, ambient indie a la Real Estate or Tennis; a bit more chill and vibes than the rest of the bill, but a cool way to kick things off. It’s not often we get to see a couple of new(ish) local bands so well-suited to support a touring artist we love, and we encourage you to show up early and support the best of what’s next.
Chad Valley, Peachy, and The High Tides will perform tonight, Sept. 5 at The High Watt. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $14.