Jennifer Gentle: Valende
Jennifer Gentle: Valende
Artist Jennifer Gentle
Album Valende
Label Sub Pop Records
Released 1/25/2005
Valende is the third Jennifer Gentle studio album. It was recorded and mixed by Marco and Alessio in the same dark basement on the outskirts of Padova, Italy, between February and June 2004. This doesn’t mean that the album is your average soup of lo-fi shrieks and yells. Better equipment, decent mics and an awful lot of work make it sound warm and luscious. It is also very different from the previous Jennifer Gentle albums: there are a couple of the usual brainless pop nuggets, but most of the album has a sad, even spooky feel. It is a collection of songs about things lost in the deep of the woods, sinister campfire scenes and that dizzying sensation of loss you can have under a moonlit sky. It is also about quiet dreams of luminous gardens, but sometimes quiet can also be scary. Marco and Alessio played all the instruments and sang all the vocals. As usual, they tried new instruments and new solutions: toy glockenspiel, bowed guitars, old Bontempi air organs, plastic flutes, chains and clocks pop up here and there (and a deflating helium balloon makes for a good solo in “I do dream you!”).

The Jennifers, whose names are actually Marco and Alessio, had the time of their life writing and recording this album – even when they had to stop because someone in the other room was chopping wood or a dog barked in the street. They think it contains some of their best songs, capturing also a bit of the womb-like magic of that dusty basement. Maybe next time they will record in a proper studio. Maybe not.