Week in Pop: Night Shapes, Roz & the Rice Cakes, Self Care

Sjimon Gompers

Providence, Rhode Island's radicals Roz and the Rice Cakes; press photo courtesy of Jorge Vieira Photography.

Chad Valley’s Week in Pop

The persistent pop influence & impact from the iconic Chad Valley, aka Hugo Manuel; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Chad Valley, aka Hugo Manuel, dropped the singles “Up Again” & “LA in August” via Cascine ahead of tours with Yumi Zouma & JR JR (dates featured below) & was incredibly gracious in guesting Week in Pop with the following exclusive guest selections titled:

6 songs that I can’t stop listening to right now

Chad Valley live at Webster Hall; photographed by Corry Arnold.

Children of Pop, “Jealous Lover”

I’m starting my week in pop with the suitably named Children of Pop, the brainchild of the inimitable Chase DeMaster out of Houston. This is the kind of song that I wish I had written. It’s got that sounds-like-it’s-existed-forever kind of vibe where you think that surely a song so perfectly formed must have been written already, except it hasn’t and it’s just come pouring out of this wonderful dude in his basement in Texas. I invited Chase to open for me in Texas earlier this year and his shows were all blinding—a real treasure for sure.

Live at Webster Hall with Chad Valley; photographed by Corry Arnold.

Starship, “Sara”

Somehow I didn’t know this song until recently, which I am slightly embarrassed about, but I am happy to admit my lack of an encyclopaedic 80s music knowledge. I love the 70s bands who ditched their guitars and jumped on the digital synth train when it came around in the next decade, and the transition of Jefferson Airplane into Starship is one of the most telling stories of the baby-boomers evolution into coked-up yuppies.

Amid the bright stage lights with Hugo Manuel of Chad Valey; photographed by Corry Arnold.

Hercules and the Love Affair, “Running”

I’ve always been a big fan of Hercules, especially the more subtle non-single albums tracks on all their albums, of which this is an excellent example. The strings in this kill me! So dramatic and lush but still soulful and almost danceable. This song has soundtracked many speedy cycle rides through London recently.

Chad Valley

Chad Valley live at Brooklyn’s Webster Hall; photographed by Corry Arnold.

Stéphanie, “I’m Waiting For You”

This is literally Stéphanie the PRINCESS OF MONACO. A legit princess who embarked on a pop career in the 80s and produced a couple of very forgettable albums but did manage to come out with this stunning piece of subtle sophisti-pop. Its so over the top and yet her voice is so delicate and understated. If you hate the song then wait at least for the saxophone in the outro…you’ll either cringe or cry.

Chad Valley live & in action at Webster Hall; photographed by Corry Arnold.

Sure Sure, “This Must Be The Place”

I never thought that I could enjoy a cover of this classic, but Sure Sure manage to do a version that not only doesn’t make me hate them for even attempting it (as has happened with other band’s attempts) but actually brings something new to the table whilst maintaining most of the ingenious elements of original.

Chad Valley serenading the world live from Webster Hall; photographed by Corry Arnold.

Blue Hawaii, “Versus Game”

Played this to my girlfriend the other day whilst manically dancing around the bedroom and her reaction was, errr this is well euro to which I was ecstatic because yes it is WELL EURO and I love it. It reminds me of those euphoric trance singles that always creeped in the European charts in the late-90s an that can only be a good thing, right?

Catch Chad Valley with both Yumi Zouma & JR JR via the following tour dates posted here & listed below:

Follow Chad Valley via Twitter.

Pop prince Chad Valley, oka Hugo Manuel; photographed by Corry Arnold.

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