VALERINNE “A Ghost Year” C52 (Amek Collective)

What’s with all these jokers getting right into my headspace about the year we’re having? Atmospheric Romanian trio Valerinne continue the trend, swirling the melancholy and droning post-rock of A Ghost Year at the periphery of reality, right at the spot you can’t quite pinpoint without catching it in the corner of your eye, forever keeping itself at an unfortunate distance. Hidden behind clouds of sweet, thick drone, A Ghost Year was the year we could have had, the one where we all hugged and everyone was healthy. That year is a total figment right now.

For a group billed as a noisy one, Valerinne really shows immense restraint, going full Eno in their cavernous, supernatural concoctions. Each of these five lengthy tracks descend like specters, obscuring reality and intent and infiltrating your mind, body, and soul. They warp your outlook until you’ve shifted focus to the Valerinne way of thinking, the dream of a different life through a different lens that seems so impossible a majority of the time these days. But don’t fool yourself into thinking A Ghost Year is the real year – we still have to keep our eyes ahead, because we’ve got a lot of work to do. But for a quick excursion to somewhere totally other, Valerinne has you totally covered with A Ghost Year.