Song Premiere: Valery Gore’s Ominous “Amsterdam”

Jayson Greene

By Jayson Greene

on 07.22.14 in News

Valery Gore’s “Amsterdam” begins with a clutch of small, ominous sounds: A softly sputtering drum machine, piano chords tinged with dissonance, and the guitars tracing out a bony, rhythmic groove. Gore’s voice, the smoothest sound in the mix, eases around the hard corners with slightly jazz-inflected phrasing. But the song doesn’t settle anywhere: Like a cat seeking the perfect sunny spot beneath a window, it keeps interrupting itself and then settling back down, muscles tensed. At one point, the opening groove melts into gorgeous dream-pop synthesizers, but before the song dissolves into a mist of vibraphones and , Gore jerks it earthward with a handful of melodically wandering piano chords. The world the song paints is vivid, fragrant, and strange, evoking the chamber pop of St.Vincent and Hundred Waters but laced with a thick personal tang. The song is from the Toronto-based singer-songwriter and pianist’s upcoming record Idols In the Dark Heart, out in September.