Sticky Blood – Valium

Sticky Blood make their return after a strong 2015, dropping tracks ‘Balance‘ and ‘Getaway‘ [feat. Hekky], gaining recognition from some of the biggest names in music, Complex and NME were two of these. This was off the back of The Blood is Stickier Than Water E.P.  Comprised of former Arctic Monkeys’ Andy Nichols and Jamie Shield, the production duo have marked 2016 with the drop of  ‘Valium’ featuring vocals from Gaby Henshaw.

The title ‘Valium’ is used by Sticky Blood as a metaphor to get away from reality and in this way the visual, is very fitting.  Gaby is pictured among the hills surrounded by nothingness, she is away and escaping much like in a dream.  However, there is still a want there a need which gives the video a different dimension.

Gaby Henshaw tells us that she needs something to put her in a dream and thus, despite wanting to get away from reality she is still in need of something. Her love is what lets her escape as the “pillow feels cold” without him near.  He’s like valium to her, encapsulating her dreams.

Sticky Blood provide a crescendo in production creating a punchy electronic, synth based backing to the soft reaching vocals of Gaby Henshaw. The start of the track really stands out as the layered synths match the delicacy of the vocals creating such an open sound. The emotion evoked from the vocals is just as strong in the production.

However, the beauty of this moment is somewhat lost as the track speeds up too soon. The focus shifts from the vocals to the buildup of the instrumental which becomes overpowered with heavy drum and synth, in anticipation of the drop. Whilst this shows their confidence and ability to create “a club track” it does take away from the excellent vocal performance of Gaby Henshaw and the emotion of the track. The drop could have been much lighter whilst keeping the sense of want, something Odesza perfect frequently.

Nevertheless, this is another performance which will certainly get Sticky Blood on the radar.


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