I saw Valley Queen open for Laura Marling at Brooklyn Steel a couple of months ago, and they changed my life, or at least my outlook on my life. It was the strangest thing. I distinctly remember turning to my friend several times throughout their set, mouth agape at what we were hearing and how much it reflected things we were going through… how much it was articulated using actual words we have used or would use. It felt like a revelation, or like we were meant to be hearing it in that moment – it was totally cosmic.
I’d hit a rough patch, and it took a single line – I don’t need no doctor to tell me what the hell has happened to me – to snap me out of it. I’m honestly in awe of how that happened. I’d been having such huge feelings that dissipated simply from, what? Feeling known? Stranger things have happened, I guess.
I had the months in between that first time seeing them and this second time to reflect on more of their music, and several lines have inevitably become staples in my mind. It was fun and emotional to hear them again. It was like hearing from old friends – a strange sentiment for a band that I’ve only been listening to for a few months. But I guess it’s not all that strange when I find the music eerily relatable. I found myself welling up at the lines that were important to me, and chuckling at a few new ones that had found a way to become applicable to my and my friend’s lives.
Valley Queen were every bit as good as the first time I saw them, if not better. I appreciated seeing them a small room as opposed to a giant industrial space. I’d never been to Union Pool’s venue and my friend described it well: the decor had a sort of Vaudevillian air to it; I found this to be true evermore when Valley Queen opened with their stellar track “Carnival.” The smallness of the room and the atmosphere made the songs feel more candid which I thought lent itself really well to their vibe in general. I’ll be anxiously awaiting their album every single day until it comes out. From what I understand, it hasn’t even been recorded yet, but that won’t stop me from anticipating an album I know will be full of words that tickle, sway, and get me.