Valley Floor aka Aaron Schmidt recently released a super catchy five-song EP called Shelters. The songs on this EP burst with clean guitar rhythms that fans of Passion Pit will gravitate towards, as well as vocal melodies that contain optimism and emotion and beats that often sound mechanical but are appropriately infused with elements of dance.
It’s the type of music that you want to put on to get some positive vibes in the morning. The energy in the music tends to build upon itself and creates a cycle of momentum that may help you get through your day.
Throughout the EP Schmidt takes his time implementing creative production techniques that make the songs great to explore with a nice pair of headphones. Take for instance the opener “Fable Moon,” which utilizes a low pass filter that slowly lets the higher frequencies of the drums come into the spectrum of sound. The technique has been used in dance music quite often (LCD soundsystem employ this quite often) but on this particular song seems to be tailor made. When the chorus hits, it delivers its super poppy dance goodness as Schmidt sings “Not out of love in our fable moon / Give it our all so don’t speak too soon.”
“Home” starts off completely different than the opener. Schmidt sings in a deep melancholy voice over a slightly distorted palm muted guitar. A consistent beat is introduced and Schmidt's vocals start to become more dynamic as the song progresses. Right before the two-minute mark the music opens up but doesn't delve into dance territory.
“Supersonic” combines warm cloud-like synth pads over a dynamic beat where the flashy guitars law low in the mix. The song is a good example of synth pop while “Refugee” sounded more akin to something that Twin Shadow would make. ”Refugee” utilizes arpeggiated synths with intricate percussion to deliver one of the highlights of the album.
“Thief In the Night” connects a bit more on an emotional level than the others on the EP. It has a nostalgic quality that permeates the sound and was a good way to end the album.
At some points during the album I was hoping Schmidt’s vocals would be more prominent. Sometimes it seems as if they were not emphasized enough in the music. Besides this minor arguable issue Schmidt delivers concise material that may be making an appearance at my next house party.
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