Music Review: MV and EE – Space Homestead

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Space Homestead
Available now on Woodsist

Matt Valentine and Erika Elder, otherwise known as MV & EE, have crafted the perfect album for floating down a gentle river on a lazy summer day when all that matters is the moment of now. Space Homestead, the group’s second album on Woodsist, flows like such a stream – moving at its own easy pace, turning and tumbling wherever the day takes it, paying little mind to the commotion of modern life surrounding it.

The band conjures up these pastoral images through the lackadaisical sounds of Valentine’s softly strummed acoustic work and Elder’s reverb-injected lap steel guitar. On “Workingman’s Smile,” this foundation is joined by a careening bassline, simple drum beats, and a pair of electric guitars that hover about with no real destination. The lack of instrumental direction is honed in, however, by the interspersed and easygoing vocals of Valentine and Elder. With the track “Too Far to See,” MV & EE produce a cosmic atmosphere of synthy raindrops and reeling distorted guitar that flies around like a moth looking for a place to land. 

The final song on the album, “Porchlight,” fuses crunchy, fast-tempo guitar and jazzy drum beats with a layer of meandering, wah-wah riffs and dreamy vocals; it sounds as if two entirely different songs are being played at the same time. This discordance breaks away at the song’s midpoint into simple harmonica squeals and acoustic rhythms with Valentine’s sensitive voice gliding over it.

Space Homestead, while void of any clear musical ambition, finds strength in its weakness. The free flowing and relaxed nature of the album allows for it to be played as a soundtrack to the aimless adventures of summer. So find a raft, bring a few friends, and let Space Homestead take you down stream.

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