Sam Valdez-Farther Away (Review)

From the edge of the Nevada desert, Sam Valdez is rising like the L.A. sun with her insatiable Americana indie folk blend, with this further illustrated in her latest single Farther Away.

Instantly opening with an ethereal arrangement, Valdez’s river of spatial guitars and ambience melt the mind of the listener, as her smooth voice brings forth a sense of ease. The honey pot of slide, acoustic and biting telecaster bring forth a sweetness and warmth that I wasn’t fully prepared for. The subtle percussion in the cabasa and tambourine add that extra sizzle that you would miss in its absence.

The use of intriguing and different chord progressions help to push the song forward through its various sections without appearing like a meander, and Valdez maintains the interest of the listener with her matter-of-fact lyricism. Lines like ‘then you got drunk and drove off’ while directly-worded helps portray the LA-based songstress as down to earth.

It is Sam’s voice that stands out though, as she rises to the challenges that her song sets with a beautifully exercised range, transitioning effortlessly between registers. The harmonies are thick and well-structured, and the sparing use of them maintains interest throughout.

The song admittedly doesn’t have the strongest structure or plot, but this justified by the musical stream of consciousness vibe, supported by the reverberant richness to elegantly encapsulate ethereality. What this song lacks in a clear hook, it compensates in taking you on a 3 and a half minute journey of escapism. 8/10

You can listen to Farther Away here:

Marc Gallagher