Nature is more focused and more serene. Both the melodic content and production style suggest that Owens and Fauria have been revisiting '90s psych and space-rock staples like Slowdive, Spiritualized, and the Verve (A Storm in Heaven-era Verve, at least). Those bands relied heavily on studio time and technology to generate a distinctively gauzy vibe—leaning heavily on reverb, delay, and lots of guitar overdubs. On Nature, Valet turns to similar sounds, but on a stricter budget. (...)
The trio’s songs impart a feeling of ascension—with murky atmosphere giving way to nodding repetition and guitar-driven uplift. Like their peers and forebears, Valet create simple music that feels expansive. Only here, the swirl of fuzz and echo isn't an exit from terrestrial woes, just a comfortable place to take stock for a moment.
The album opener, 'Sunday' sets the tone. The track starts with long single strums on a reverb driven guitar and floating vocals. It then drops into steady rock-drums. This play between solid beats and hazy layered guitars and synths is the kind of push and pull that allows the album as a whole to not lose momentum. 'Sunday' does not use layers strictly for atmospherics, there are specific riffs and melody/harmony lines that make the composition interesting.
The same can be said for the title track. 'Nature' is more pop in its sound, but still is able to bridge that gap of dreamy haze and solid foundation so you don't float through the void for eternity. A pleasant 6/8 waltz feel and an alive bass line direct the song. 'Nature' is interesting in that while the music has an organic quality, the lyrics go in a different direction. While clouds are mentioned, there are police cars, flashing lights, raised arms and talk of going out Saturday night "with 40s in tow." The play between the natural world and increasing complexity of modern human nature is something I am gaining more appreciation for in each listen of this song.
While this album is full of songs with layers upon layers, there is a mature restraint. It would be easy to add instruments for the sake of it. This is where experience comes into play. Valet have been in the game long enough to know everything must serve a purpose. This is best represented on the song 'Clouds'. In my opinion it's the best ong on the LP. 'Clouds' has back and forths on multiple levels: between a dreamy guitar riff and accented drum beat, and then a slightly hip-hop inspired beat and atmospherics that seep through every crevice. There are moments when the song pushes to a point where it can almost fill an arena but decides to back off. It instead goes for a more rain-morning-mass vibe, echoing in an old stone church. The choice to restrain and not allow the song to burst is what keeps it alive.