Valet Blood is Clean

Honey Owens has explored freak folk, electronics and psychedelic improv as a collaborating member of Jackie-O Motherfucker, Nudge and World, respectively. Going solo in Valet, she unleashes her subconscious, letting it steer her into some otherworldly spaces. The landscape is the audio analog of some funky ’70s Dr. Strange astral projection, with effervescent guitars, bubbling digitalis and voodoo hand drums. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the bead curtains rattling in the warm breeze. Blood is Clean is the light-streaked cousin to last year’s Evangeline by Carla Bozulich, though not without its own shadows and smeared lipstick. It often resembles a machine just barely under its operator’s control (i.e., "April 6” and closer "North”). The former starts as a simple chant and hand drum pattern complicated by electricity, while the latter is a dark koan that slowly stretches upward into a Zen drone. The title track is the nearest to overt songwriting and features a tiny, lysergic guitar solo that would freak out any mother. Each of the eight tracks offers a slight twist in the high, a brief station stop to ponder the colours and tastes of the sounds. (Kranky)