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Reviewed by Adam Burns

Valere: Blue EP

Reviewed by Adam Burns

Valere: Blue EP

With 2014’s ‘Weary Eyes’ EP, Shana Llorando’s contemplative brand of pop/R&B chops marked a bright arrival. Her second five-track EP as Valere is a more refined bundle, channelling a minimalist musical axis that allows the essence of her voice to become the highlight. That said, the sleek production is inquisitive and hits hard enough to suggest that versatility isn’t an issue for the singer/songwriter. She even breaks up some of the cool nuances for some of ‘Weary Eyes’’ muscular guitars on Much (F For Friendship). It’s a wonderfully crafted track as her wordless coos glide the back end of the chorus, although the delivery of “are you cool to kick it tonight?” apes Robyn to the point of amusement, a rare instance where her poise is anything but distinct. Aside from a fleeting, beat-less opener, Valere pulls off the slow burn effortlessly on Skin and Bone and Know Me, as she builds both the music and her vocals to more searching quarters. The title track for me is the high point with its killer chorus, beautifully layered whilst sounding both kinetic, yet warmly intimate.