Solo bedroom musician swaps electronica for gentle pop
Justin Paul Vallesteros’ second album under his Craft Spells moniker dumps the bedroom electronica of 2011 debut ‘Idle Labor’ for a serene set of pleasing pop numbers featuring gentle acoustic strums, delicate melodies and wispy vocals. It’s a progressions that fits the Seattle-based artist well as the spacious production and deft arrangements allow many of the songs to flourish. Opener ‘Nausea’, with its twinkling guitar lines and harmonies, is soothingly psychedelic, while ‘Breaking The Angle Against The Tide’ offers a welcome change of tempo. The messy trip-hop of ‘If I Could’ and screeching synth line of ‘First Snow’ mean ‘Nausea’ lacks consistency, but it’s a clever and rewarding record.
Dean Van Nguyen