31 May 2023

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Valley Kids - Single Review: Otherside

10 May 2023 // A review by Trevor Faville

Poneke based Valley Kids have been drawing a career arc that continues upward from their first release in 2020, and with the support of NZ On Air the four piece have released their third single Otherside.

Right from the opening guitar refrain, it's clear what an experienced and cohesive unit this is. Otherside is tight and focused. It has the precision, musical skill and production nous that quite clearly reflects a high level of songwriting skill. Given the collected CVs and experience of everyone involved, this is no surprise.

The reggae style is pervasive, and older ears might recognise the flavour of The Crates in this, in addition to the long list of band names (Sons of Zion, Tomorrow People, Creative Natives) associated with the members .Certainly Valley Kids are well versed in the musical elements that go into this genre, and the arrangement is subtle, musical and above all, fluent. Its fine work. Lyrically, Otherside stays in pretty safe territory, while maintaining a strong melodic line. The feel-good vibe is overt and one can certainly sense that a song with a melody as strong as this is destined for live stages come summer.

An emphatic statement then, from Valley Kids. A band that has settled into its stride creatively and bringing considerable musical skill and experience to bear in their third outing.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Valley Kids

Valley Kids are Nai McGregor, Daniel Sugrue, Peter Riley and Ihaka Tukapua. The musically refreshing five piece brings experiences from NZ heavy hitters such as Tomorrow People, Sons Of Zion, NLC, and H4lf Cast to craft full and energetic arrangements that move over solid Soul, RnB, Reggae and rock grooves. Deft guitar riffs weave with heavy synths, three part harmonies and deep, warm melodies to bind each song together.

Drawing on influences such as Kora and L.A.B, Valley Kids have it all. Honed musicianship and a sound that acknowledges its soul, funk and reggae roots while punching through the swath of generic bands of their demographic. The combination of each member's mana and skills builds a style that is both familiar and cleverly layered. With music that resonates beyond the stage and speakers, Valley Kids are a band from the streets, for the people.

Formed by Sugrue and Riley, in late 2020, Valley Kids has already made a significant splash, releasing 3 singles and multiple live material in less than a year. V.K's first singled garnered them a NZ On Air 'New Tracks' compilation and was quickly followed up with their sophomore single Make Me Feel, produced by DJ Mu AKA Fitchie of Fat Freddy's fame at the legendary Bay's Studio. With the latest release of their Te Reo adaptation of their first single Moni, Valley Kids are making up for lost time due to to falling victim to the lockdowns during their formation by playing a multitude of shows across New Zealand before settling in and recording their first album set to be released 2023.

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