Val Bauer: People and things come into our lives. Some of them stay, some of them go. Loves are found and lost. Even happiness is. And in their place remain unwelcome things like heartbreak, depression and addiction, which defiantly refuse to disappear. Portland songwriter Val Bauer’s music deals with the recognition and reconciliation of those harsh truths that come to light and are what’s left after the world has started to lose its lustre, and we see it for what it is — or might be if we let it. It’s about the struggle, but also the optimism that it’s possible to not have to accept what’s given us; that we’re all fighting the same fight, and that we’re not alone.
The earnest confessionalism of Val Bauer’s music follows in the tradition of songwriters like Ryan Adams and Elliott Smith, building on the foundation of the emo/pop punk of his youth: artists like Saves the Day and Dashboard Confessional. His fourth EP, Malaise, recorded and produced in Seattle by Jackson Long, is his strongest and most revealing yet, confronting those harsh truths of life head-on. The message is universal, reading like poetic expression of your own most personal journal entries. It’s the combination of these accessible topics with hooks that stay etched in your mind that set Val apart from an ever-expanding sea of aspiring songsters.
Kids on Fire