Chad Valley, also known as Hugo Manuel, is possibly the most successful artist to come out of the Oxford based creative movement Blessing Force, which his band Jonquil is also part of. He has released two EP’s that have both been highly celebrated in the UK and the US amongst other places which of course seems logical for him to bring out a full-length album, Young Hunger.
Chad Valley certainly saved his best for this album yet only sings on four of the album’s eleven tracks as the other seven feature collaborating with the likes of Glasser, Active Child, Twin Shadow and EL Perro Del Mar. These collaborations were clearly chosen as these are distinctive voices that when duetting with Manuel’s voice, create perfect harmonies.
Despite this strong supporting cast, it’s Manuel’s falsetto that stays centre stage, and rightly so. ‘Tell All Your Friends’ is what has to be one of the most joyous and awesome dance tracks of the year. Also, ‘My Girl’ is infectiously happy and bubbly and could clearly be a Top 40 smash were it sung by the likes of Katy Perry for example.
‘Fall 4 U’ is the track that includes Cameron Mesirow of Glasser’s piercing soprano which succeeds largely because it’s written as a fully-fledged call-and-response duet and the singing healthily complements the song. This is necessarily the case throughout the album, however, because the vocals tend to overpower the trademark Chad Valley sound of sonic synths and chilled vibes.
Despite this, Young Hunger shows Chad Valley at his best while musically supporting a range of other vocalists. The album is eleven tracks of spectacular, polished electro-pop with each track filled with synthesizers and Manuel’s smooth vocals displaying an impressive range. The overall sound of the album is something that would grace the ‘hipster Ibiza’ next summer with the infectious fresh beats and light hearted dance music.
Released on 9th November 2012 by Cascine/Loose Lips