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Andrew is a staff writer at the “The Hudsucker”. He is a 28 year old lawyer living in Ottawa. Besides legal jargon, his brain capacity is taken up by reality show trivia, video game walk-throughs and room escape strategies. Andrew is also happily in a long-term, long-distance relationship. Follow him on Twitter as @sublymonal.

Album Review: Betty Who’s ‘The Valley’ is the Album of the Summer

Every year, music critics and listeners alike debate, what the song of the summer will be. Will it be that hit you can’t get out of your head like Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”? Or will it be more introspective like ex-One Directioner Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times”? Or maybe something more literal, like in years past, where Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” and Demi Lovato’s “Cool for the Summer” dominated the charts.

Regardless of what the winning recipe will consist of, New Zealand singer Betty Who’s new album The Valley has it all. From dance-worthy jams to the soundtrack to nostalgic summer nights, the singer’s sophomore LP will have you turning your radio up to eleven on those summer road trips.

The dynamic nature of Who’s album is evident right from the very beginning. Fans that followed the singer’s social media before the release would have heard several tracks off the album, including “Mama Say,” which has inspired a number of people to post videos of them breaking out their best moves, much to the joy of the singer herself. But the album starts on another tempo altogether, with the brooding title track that features haunting harmonies and lyrics about regret.

Betty Who’s album “The Valley” takes listeners on a quintessentially summer emotional journey. [Credit: RCA]

Who is quick to rip off that bandage though and kick it in to high gear with the album’s lead-off clap-along single, “Some Kinda Wonderful” then, like a roller-coaster at an amusement park on a hot summer day, Who brings listeners back to reality with “You Can Cry Tomorrow,” a song that could be directed to the best friend that needs a night out to get over their significant other. The album then launches into a stretch of songs that have had me dancing in public, from the aforementioned “Mama Say” to the second single “Human Touch” which features a great beat drop for the chorus. “Free to Fly” also features Who’s first rapper cameo from Warren G.

On Who’s first album, “Take Me When You Go,” she also showed that the dreamy lilt to her voice lends itself well to tracks that will have you thinking wistfully about that summer fling. She revisits that place with “Wanna Be,” a song many of the singer’s LGBTQ fans can relate to because of the theme of unrequited love and while the title of “Blue Heaven Midnight Crush” may lack a dictionary definition, the song itself certainly pins down a feeling we can all relate to.

Who also teams of with Superfruit, a duo which features Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi of a capella supergroup Pentatonix. The pair lend their voices to Who’s disco-era empowerment anthem “Beautiful” for a rocking good time on the album’s penultimate track but, wait, the album is not over yet. Who delivers another hit of nostalgia with her take on the 90’s Donna Lewis classic “I Love You Always Forever” that’s just as ethereal as the original.

For me, “The Valley” checked all the emotional boxes that I associate with summer from driving down the highway to some distant destination to dancing in the dog days at an outdoor concert or that “take me back” mentality as the season winds down. I’d be hard pressed to find a better soundtrack to my summer and I think others will feel the same way as they’re taken through the peaks and valleys of Betty Who’s “The Valley.”

Betty Who’s entire discography, including the new album “The Valley” is available for purchase on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon, and for streaming on Apple Music and Spotify. Dates and ticket info for her North American summer tour are also on her website.

What song is your favorite song off her new record? Share in the comments below!

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