Chad Valley
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Chad Valley

Oxford, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Oxford, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
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"The solo project of Jonquil frontman Hugo Manuel, Chad Valley is cut from similar cloth to that of the recently CMU Approved Evenings and chillwave poster boy Washed Out. His slick, soulful 80s pop tunes having been, er, washed out and buried under a wave of effects, compressing and distorting the finished recordings. It's an increasingly common technique, yes, but gives these songs such a dreamy quality it's hard to imagine them being presented any other way.

Well, I say that, but Chad Valley was one of the acts I caught at last week's In The City. Where, armed with a synth, a drum machine and a microphone, he performed without all the hiss, letting out the full force of his soulful voice. To be honest, it probably works best on record, particularly as Manuel's image doesn't really fit his music on stage - it was kind of Fleet Foxes does Hurts - but you'd still do well to check him out in one form or other." - CMU


“Chad Valley is one dreamboat from Oxford called Hugo Manuel. His sun-tanned stoner indie sounds like that sad moment when you realise how there’s only a week left of summer holidays and next year you’ll be 18, stuffing letters for your Dad’s boss. Built from a sampler, a delay pedal, lots of reverb and a stack of records, it’s shares a lo-fi mesmeric charm with bands like Ducktails”. - Vice


"The War on Drugs frontman Kurt Vile is the most popular act in the blogosphere on October 25 according to The Hype Machine. Rapper Kanye West takes second place and New York rockers The National move into third. Also, re-entering the day's top ten is indie band Best Coast.

The National is the Brooklyn rock band whose 2010 album High Violet hit the top ten in several countries. The band released a video for an alternative version of the track "Terrible Love," which is part of an expanded edition of High Violet set for a November 22 release. The video "features tons of behind-the-scenes footage from their 2010 tour, including their European festival stops and their performance at a Madison, WI rally for President Obama," writes Stranger Dance (strangerdance.com).

Best Coast - Los Angeles musician Bethany Cosentino and bassist Bobb Bruno - became known to indie music lovers through a string of garage rock 7" singles and a four-song EP in 2009. The duo has just released a video for the track "Boyfriend" from its debut full-length album Crazy for You that features the band playing at a girl's quinceañera, or 15th birthday party. "Seems like those early 90's videoclips, where you keep seeing the band playing at some weird venue," reviews We Are Pajamas (wearepajamas.wordpress.com).

The 10 most blogged artists on The Hype Machine on October 25 at 10 am GMT:

Kurt Vile (+1)
Kanye West (-1)
The National (+3)
Chad Valley (new)
Best Coast (re-entry)
Cee-Lo Green (no change)
Oh Land (re-entry)
Generationals (-4)
James Blake (no change)
Cults (re-entry)

Launched in 2005, The Hype Machine aggregates information from more than 1,000 music blogs worldwide. Known for identifying up-and-coming artists, the site enables music fans to easily find out what music is hot in the blogosphere and to instantly hear and buy mp3s." - The Independent


"I’ve never been to Portugal, but I hope Chad Valley‘s Portuguese Solid Summer is playing from every sound system in sight when I get there. The track takes me to a beachfront hammock, where I’ve been chillin’ for what seems like days, gently swaying while sippin’ on sangria. Each time I lift my head to take a sip, my white-rimmed aviators slide down my nose slightly and, even though the sun is setting, I still nudge them back in to place. Cristiano Ronaldo rolls up to me to say what’s up, but I say, “Yo Cris, kick rocks. I’m puttin’ out the vibe for the ladies and you’re crampin’ my style. Go take a knee over there.” He kicks some sand and moves on as I take another sip of ‘gria. A girl in a bikini walks by and I smile at her. When she smiles back, I put my headphones back on and finish out the track." - Yours Truly


"UK bedroom artist Chad Valley makes beatific electro-pop that sounds like it's been bathed in soft neon light. "Up and Down" is an especially glowing tune, with a soft throb reminiscent of the Tough Alliance." - Pitchfork


"Here's a new beatific jawn from Mr. Hugo Manuel, aka UK Balearic traveller Chad Valley. "Shapeless" isn't set for any specific release at this time, but you shouldn't have a problem basking in its infinite sunlight regardless." - Pitchfork


"Oxford's Hugo Manuel is one of the latest producers to join the world of pop-flavored beatscapes often described with words like "chill," "blissful," "summery," "hazy," and a "wave" of some kind. As Chad Valley, Manuel has prepared a four-song, self-titled EP for the new multi-national Cascine label, and we've got the first track to leak from that release here. "Ensoniq Funk" closes out Chad Valley, sending listeners off with an uplifting amalgam of '80s-pop samples, distant synth melodies, blown-out dance beats, a palpable sense of youthful exuberance, and a thick fog of AM radio fuzz. You can find out how the rest of Manuel's debut EP sounds when it drops on November 16." - XLR8R


“Jonquil’s Hugo Manuel recently sent over the latest track from his new “sun-drenched Balearic pop” side-project Chad Valley. The shimmering, wistful “Anything” will make a nice addition to your “Ibiza sunrise smooth jams” playlists…” - Gorilla vs. Bear


"Another golden, sun-kissed song from Chad Valley, the Balearic bliss-pop project of UK resident Hugo Manuel, who also does time in the like-minded outfit Jonquil. 'Anything' has a few more house-ready touches than the Playlisted 'Up and Down', but Manuel's still on his misty-sounding game here." - Pitchfork


"We last heard from Oxford's Chad Valley with "Anything" back in August, but it turns out his tropical-tinged tunes suit the cooler weather just as well. 'Ensoniq Funk' is a sampler from the Balaeric-minded artist's four-song debut, Chad Valley EP, on alt-pop label Cascine. The love-laced ballad is a sparkling collage of Ibiza beats, synth beams, and layered vocals. Grab 'Ensoniq Funk', and revisit his Playlisted 'Up and Down', below." - Pitchfork


"When he's not making wonderfully cluttered electro-pop as part of UK outfit Jonquil, Hugo Manuel makes beatific tracks all by his lonesome as Chad Valley. You'd think that all those steel drum breaks and smooth beats associated with the lost-in-Ibiza sound would sound old hat by now, but on "Up and Down", Manuel offers another fresh take on Balearic bliss. The song's arrangement is airy and spacious, with a bassline that has space to breathe under an inside-out backing beat. Manuel's dewdrop vocals are front and center, spraying extra mist on the snatches of melody.

"Up and Down" has a decidedly New Order feel as well, underscored not only by that thumping bass but also the vaguely down-and-out sentiments Manuel expresses throughout the song: "Feel a rise/ Up and down/ Feelin' down/ Feel the shoulders/ What'cha gonna do/ Where you gonna be/ For everything you need". He sounds uncertain about the future, but he shouldn't feel that way-- not when it sounds this serene, anyway." - Pitchfork


“Beating with the same Balearic heart as Washed Out is Oxford’s Chad Valley – aka Hugo Manuel, also of Jonquil. ‘Portuguese Solid Summer’ (from his forthcoming debut EP) stutters with coming-up paranoia before melting into a wave of icy chimes. Tinglingly good.” - NME


Who would've thought the UK's response to Toro Y Moi would come from a the cobbled streets of Oxford, here's a new exclusive from Chad Valley (not named after a manufacturer of frozen family meals): - NME


“There's something stirring in Oxford. Alongside the ROCK (represented at Swn by the Big Scary Monsters night), there's a lush, psychedelic, etheral sound ready to sweep our ear holes, with Chad Valley the finest of the bunch so far.” - NME


Discography

Chad Valley - Ensoniq Funk - EP

Ensoniq Funk has received radio play on BBC Radio 1 and East Village Radio. All EP tracks are streaming online, at various website.

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Bio

Chad Valley are the personal outpourings of one Hugo Manuel, the balearic inclined vocalist of the band Jonquil and one of the founders of Blessing Force, Oxford's very own in-sourced art collective. Taking a more electronic approach to sunset vibes, Hugo has made quite a splash this past summer. In his short 20 show career he's already played in Budapest, Belgrade and Istanbul. He's supported Amiina, The Mountain Goats and Oxford scene chums Foals and been on every blog you can think of from Gorilla vs. Bear to Pitchfork.