Death Valley Girls - 'Islands In The Sky'

7/10

Throughout the last decade, LA's Death Valley Girls have always looked to branch into something more mysterious and allusive than their contemporaries. With their previous three LPs cementing them as a broad and spacey outfit that ventured into rich and harmonious aesthetics, they quickly gained a reputation for music that had a spiritual healing quality to it. But after songwriter Bonnie Bloomgarden was struck down with a mystery illness near the end of 2020, she shifted the attention of her work to her own health and wellbeing, resulting in their fourth studio album 'Islands In The Sky', a record that adds a new and exciting quiver to their musical bow.

While the band's rustic and psychedelic edge remains the beating heart of this new collection, 'Islands In The Sky' finds itself in a more haunted and progressive guise. Although the group have regularly dabbled in a more atmospheric aura from time to time, this new material feels like a far more cohesive and succinct listen from start to finish. With each track effortlessly building upon the drive of the one before it, it moves with this wonderfully easygoing elegance that keeps the momentum and energy forever moving forward.

It may not have some of the scrappier and enigmatic moments of their repertoire so far, but 'Islands In The Sky' feels like a strong and confident progression within their sound to date. Brimming with warm and inventive qualities, they have created one of their most vibrant offerings to date here.

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