Valet, Blood is Clean

Mike McGonigal

By Mike McGonigal

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A world of echo that is as weird as it is pretty.

Honey Owens (aka Valet) waited some time to make her first solo album — a decade at the heart of Portland, OR's vibrant avant-rock community in the groups World, Nudge and Jackie-O Motherfucker. Blood Is Clean is a lovely debut, a real slow burner. It takes at least a few listens to get into it, but Valet really delivers, with fiercely original (and kind of spooky) music in the spirit of Royal Trux, Eluvium and Yoko Ono. These meditative, melted-sounding jams are layered and intricate, though simple melodic and percussive elements are at the core of each. The true standout, the title track, is a sleepy half-rocker with a motorik beat that springs to life halfway through. From the flood of whispered vocals on "Tame all the Lions" to the puddle of stretched-out sounds that accumulate all over "Sade 4 Bri," Owens 'world of echo is as weird as it is pretty.