NPR: Singer-Songwriter Valerie June Draws On Her Southern Roots In ‘The Order Of Time’

APRIL 3, 2017 by Valerie June


This is FRESH AIR. Valerie June is a Tennessee-born singer-songwriter who made a splash with her 2013 album “Pushin’ Against A Stone.” On her latest album, “The Order Of Time,” Valerie June reaches back to her roots in Southern gospel, reconciling it with her current life in Brooklyn, N.Y. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a review.


VALERIE JUNE: (Singing) Somebody, somebody, not any old body, not any old body, need you to need me, need you to want me, somebody, somebody. Get me on the shakedown…

KEN TUCKER, BYLINE: It’s been a few years since we’ve heard that Valerie June voice, the high-pitched twang that toggles back and forth between crisp enunciation and a slurred drawl. On the song I just played, called “Shakedown,” she’s joined by two brothers and her father on backup vocals. The song builds to a rock band rave-up, but in the midst of all that, Valerie June sounds as lonely as if she was singing to herself in an empty room.

On this album, “The Order Of Time,” June is especially effective when she gets that alone-in-a-room sound going. Listen to the way her voice seems to bounce off the walls of a heartbreak hotel room on a song called “If And.”

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