Maybe you want to unwind after an exhausting day, or maybe it's 2 p.m. and you’re on your way to class or you’re studying at the library. Maybe you just want wordless, instrumental music to keep you mellow and concentrated at the same time — Sweet Valley provides for all of those needs.
While you might be familiar with San Diego-based Nathan Williams from his fuzzy-surf rock band Wavves, he also dabbles in the electronic area under the pseudonym Sweet Valley. Along with his brother Kynan, they sample anything from hip-hop tracks to video games like “The Ocarina of Time.” The brothers released three varying mix-tapes in 2012 and have recently collaborated with MNDR releasing the EP "Dance 4 A Dollar."
Sweet Valley’s sound is certainly influenced by Wavves. Tracks like “Baseball Cards” or “Convertible Balloon” sound similar to sounds on Sweet Valley’s first mixtape, “Stay Calm.” Fuzzy and lo-fi, there are beach-rock elements on tracks such as “Malibu Games” and “Sidewalk Surfer.”
“Eternal Champ,” Sweet Valley’s second mixtape, is probably their best one. Mixing hip-hop samples with fuzzy, melodic beats makes for great daytime walking-to-class music. “Eternal Champ” is more experimental and strays away from the lo-fi sound that Wavves is so comfortable with. Some tracks worth listening to are “Stone,” “The Great Bay Shrines” and “Where Will I Go.”
Their third mixtape, “Jenova,” continues on the path that “Eternal Champ” set out. More mellow and misty, it explores more existential ideas, producing eerier material. Some of the highlights are “From the Greatest Origins” and “Seer Stone.”
Sweet Valley is worth a listen. They might not be suitable for a dance party, but you just might find your new soundtrack for everyday life.