If you're a mega-fan of the dichotomy between pinball-ricocheted power pop and Waitsian weirdness on Danny Michel's Tales From The Invisible Man, you might find Valhalla a bit of a regression. Michel's latest is a return to the introspective, rusty-voiced guitar pop of his earlier releases (similar to his recent stripped-down take on Bowie), though the lake-loving songster's still fleshing out tracks with low-budget production tricks and one-man-bandstrumentation like melodica and tinny percussion. He seems more and more drawn to back-alley old-man rootsy blues bolstered by clarinet and horns (see the heavy-hearted drifter narratives White Lightning and Into The Flame), but there's something more affecting about his runs at pure power pop. I never thought I'd be flagging a No Doubt cover as one of his standout tracks.
Danny Michel launches Valhalla at the Mod Club Friday (June 16).