BBMAs 2018

Valende

"Valende" opens with a crackling acoustic number, and its second song is an all-out "Nuggets"-era rocker, complete with handclaps, a vintage keyboard and indefinable screeches. From here, Jennifer Gen

"Valende" opens with a crackling acoustic number, and its second song is an all-out "Nuggets"-era rocker, complete with handclaps, a vintage keyboard and indefinable screeches. From here, Jennifer Gentle goes in a more atmospheric direction. Don't be fooled by the name: This is a duo, and an odd one at that. Imported from Italy via Sub Pop, this is the act's third proper album, all of them home-recorded. Yet "Valende" feels more like it was created in a demented carnival. "Hessesopoa" is all cymbal crashes and haunted-house noises, and "Liquid Coffee" hypnotizes with a mixture of lovely acoustic finger-picking and an underlying rhythmic ticking. At times compelling in its eccentricities, this record emphasizes experimentation rather than tunefulness.—TM