After years spent winning folks over with the ethereal soundscapes of the critically acclaimed Ramona the Pest and the twang inspired stylings of Loretta Lynch and El Mirage, Val Esway is back with a new project, Global Spider Community, and new recording, No One Ever Said This Would Be Pretty.
Global Spider Community is a joint effort co-piloted by producer and veteran Bay area troubadour Danny Allen, whose stellar guitar playing and sonic footprint can be heard throughout. The recording also features Jason Slota (Thao and the Get Down) on drums, Wil Hendricks (Edith Frost, The Lofty Pillars) on bass, and a guest appearance by John Shiurba (Eskimo, The Molecules) on guitar.
This body of work is a bit of a departure from Val’s recent offerings, weaving gracefully choreographed paths between power pop and sweet, full-hearted melancholy, occasionally swerving into nihilistic pop, Laurel Canyon country, and good ol’ post-punk.
Val’s unflinching honesty, heart on sleeve vocals, and inimitable songwriting are the glue that holds it all together.
The mood is equal parts surly and somber. The theme that runs through it all is trying to find light in the midst of darkness, mourning loss and letting go of what you’d hoped for - and then accepting what is, picking yourself up and dusting yourself off. Discovering that despite being in the midst of failure and chaos, that it is possible to find a home in the middle of the wreckage and sink into your perfectly imperfect skin.
Val has also contributed harmony vocals to a wide range of artists including local bay area treasure, Joe Rut, and she is a regular guest vocalist in the George Jones tribute presented by her pals Crying Time.