SXSW Wednesday Record Reviews

Valerie June

The Order of Time (Concord)

SXSW Wednesday Record Reviews

Valerie June's 2013 LP, Pushin' Against a Stone, introduced a powerful new voice, and the now-Brooklyn-based songwriter's much anticipated follow-up expands on those expectations. Opening where Stone left off, "Long Lonely Road" and "Love You Once Made" haunt with June's nasal mountain croon, sliced with the Memphis R&B of her roots. The raw clap and riffs of "Shakedown" signal evolution, though, alongside dark warping electric blues ("If And") and banjo cut African rhythms ("Man Done Wrong"). At times atmospheric with a grounded mysticism ("Astral Plane" and sweeping strings on "Just in Time"), June's voice still serves as mesmerizing focus, especially the slow drawl and moan of "The Front Door" and closing blast of "Got Soul." (Wed. 15, Cooper's BBQ, 10:30pm)

****

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