Valerie June
Renata Raksha

Monday Mix: Hether, Kate Davis, Valerie June

By Ray Gill, Jr. (OPB)
Jan. 4, 2021 1:35 p.m.

From psych pop to rhythm and blues, this week’s curated mix covers a lot of ground.

Hether — “Twinkle”


Paul Castelluzzo is a young LA-based guitarist, songwriter and composer who’s found early success working with artists like Lianne La Havas, Mac Miller and Anderson .Paak. Yet his solo project, under the name Hether, is where we get to experience the full range of his talent. It’s beautifully demonstrated in the single “Twinkle” which is featured on his forthcoming EP, “Whooops Demos,” out Jan. 15. This track is a romantic dreamscape of instrumentation along with a soothing falsetto vocal accompaniment that captures the disorienting euphoria of infatuation. “These words just kinda flew outta my head so I honored them by not revising them at all. What comes out naturally seems to be the truth.” Castelluzzo explains.

Kate Davis — “I’ll Do Anything but Break-Dance for Ya, Darling”

Kate Davis takes the late Daniel Johnston song, “I’ll Do Anything But Breakdance For Ya, Darling,” and honors it by retaining its soul and delivering on its pain. “When I first heard Daniel Johnston I was struck by the directness and clarity in his writing,” says the Oregon-born Davis. “I wanted to gain perspective into that directness.” The arrangement is a bold mix of sounds that plays out like an indie-rock symphony while Davis’ quiet vocals swell to an emotional crescendo. This song is the first single from Davis’ cover album “Strange Boy due out on Jan 15.

Valerie June — “Stay”

Among that rarefied group of artists who define themselves outside of the boundaries of any true genre, Valerie June stands tall. This Tennessee-born singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist returns after the success of her 2017 album, “In Order Of Time,” with the immaculate single “Stay.” It’s a song that encourages us to live fully without regrets. “At the close, a short, reflective meditation allows us to steal just a few seconds of stillness before returning to the busy world,” says June. From its simple bluesy intro, this song continues to build with relentless momentum until it ends with a calming fade that leaves you emotionally stirred and wanting for more.


Tags: Culture, Music, new-music