Published Dec 05, 2019Hurt Valley is the newest project from California-based singer-songwriter Brian Collins. A high school science teacher by day, he's been crafting this debut for Hurt Valley in his spare time. Titled Glacial Pace, the ten-track, folk-pop record is inspired by a trip to Death Valley, along the California / Nevada border. The songs awaken feelings about life and death in and throughout nature, while simultaneously providing feelings of peace and serenity.
Lead single "Apartment Houses" was released in October, and would be a perfect addition to anyone's road trip playlist. As the second track on the album, it showcases a consistent theme of acoustic and electric folk-rock music seen throughout the entire record. It's very reminiscent of the sounds that flooded through the Laurel Canyon in the mid-'60s, yet still incorporates the indie aesthetic of the 21st century.
A soft-spoken Collins remains eclectic yet mundane throughout the rest of the album, straying very little from the linear path he's created. Things pick up towards the end with "No Meaning," which offers more energizing instrumentation, along with a colourful guitar solo. The listener gets just excited enough to come back down for a sombre ending with "Immaterial Worlds." The final cut brings the album full circle, while still leaving you with questions about life, nature, and exploration. (Woodsist)