If 2018’s Supergiant saw LA rock outfit Valley Queen writing through and about the tough times, their follow-up sophomore record Chord of Sympathy—written between a global pandemic and the departure of one of the group’s founding members—uses that adversity as a means to celebrate the good ones. With a sound recalling the heydays of indie-rock giants like The National, Grizzly Bear, or Sharon Van Etten, the trio’s new material looks toward a brighter future while tinkering with complex instrumental ideas and, in the case of frontperson Natalie Carol, unconventional vocal styles.
All of this comes through clearly in the album’s newly revealed title track, which serves as both an instrumental and lyrical thesis statement for the album as a whole. Over upbeat percussion and droning piano chords, Carol considers the binding impact music can have, adhering otherwise separate entities in the absence of sound. “I didn’t coin the phrase ‘chord of sympathy,’” Carol discloses. “It comes from Hazrat Inayat Khan, an ancient Sufi mystic. I recommend his text Mysticism of Sound and Music to anyone who loves sound. He talks about the chord of sympathy in this book, which sparked my imagination as a singer. I wanted to embody that notion, of sound connecting us, and write from that place.”
The intricate single arrives ahead of Chord of Sympathy’s April 21 release date. Check out the new-age-by-way-of-vaporwave mediation video for the track below.