Review: The Neon Hour by B.P. Valenzuela

The Neon Hour by B.P. ValenzuelaAdmission: my first exposure to B.P. Valenzuela were her tweets, often retweeted by my hipper-than-me friends. It’d be easy to dismiss her as another smart kid with a Twitter account, but then I saw her live and sort of understood the hype. Now I’m closer to getting it. The Neon Hour, her debut full-length, sounds accomplished and confident. It’s her cool coo, combined with the drum machines she’s always played with, combined with a few elegiac spins: unobtrusive synths, a bit of piano here and there. She sits comfortably in between the singer-songwriter and electro molds that define most Filipino indie artists today, and the result is a record that amazes with the surprises it pulls off… for the most part. If I had a minor quibble, it’s the album’s turn towards the bigger world on “Veneers”: the well-intentioned track somewhat killed the momentum and what followed it suffered, at least to me. Still, her subtly veiled lyrics, her delivery, and those little tricks – tip of the hat to the last minute of album opener “early/late” – make The Neon Hour a record that should transcend those tweets. [NB] | 4/5

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