08 Mar INDEPENDENT: Album reviews: The Shins – Heartworms, The Magnetic Fields – 50 Song Memoir, Valerie June – The Order of Time and more
Her follow-up to 2013’s sublime Pushin’ Against A Stone finds Valerie June expanding her unique blend of blues, soul and mountain music to create a distinctive hybrid in which past and future coalesce with gentle power. The opening blues spiritual “Long Lonely Road”, for instance, has the manner of a pilgrimage, with her enervated mountain drawl doggedly tracking the stubborn beat, surrounded by flecks and dabs of electric guitar. Elsewhere, her rural twang gives country-soul numbers like “Love You Once Made” and the anthemic closer “Got Soul” a unique charm, comparable to the Caledonian flavour of Van Morrison and Paolo Nutini; but perhaps the most absorbing aspect of The Order Of Time is the way that the repetitive, hypnotic modes of gospel, African and minstrel music are developed to give songs such as “The Front Door”, “If And” and the angular “Shakedown” a shamanic, mantra-like quality perfectly equipped to locate what she describes as “the light you have inside you can touch”. Read more here.