THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE
Based in the New Haven area, The Shellye Valauskas Experience writes meticulously crafted power pop songs, with an emphasis on “power.” The songs hearken back to the finer moments of the 1970’s and 1980’s and are filled with sparkling melodies powered by sharp and often jangly electric guitars; think Big Star, The Raspberries and Aimee Mann. SVE’s latest release, History of Panic, is a collection of catchy choruses, swirly guitars and melodies that instantly draw you in and satisfy on every level.
History of Panic
It took nearly a decade, but The Shellye Valauskas Experience (Shellye Valauskas and Dean Falcone) released their second recording, History of Panic, on February 10, 2018. History of Panic, their first full-length album, is the follow-up to the 2008 EP Box It Up, which was named one of the top 10 local releases in the yearly roundups in the New Haven Register and New Haven Advocate. Recorded at Q Division Studios in Somerville, and Firehouse 12 in New Haven, History of Panic features collaborations with artists who have shaped their sound in one way or another – legendary drummer Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention, XTC, Paul McCartney), Jon Auer (The Posies, Big Star, Dynamo Royale) and Matt Pynn (Dwight Yoakam, Miley Cyrus), as well as New England favorites Ed Valauskas (Juliana Hatfield, The Gravel Pit), Scott Janovitz (The Figgs, Graham Parker), Jen D’Angora (Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents, The Downbeat 5), Abbie Barrett, and Brendan Haley. Also on the album is drummer Jim Balga who goes back to the early ’80s with Falcone, as members of legendary New Haven pop combo The Excerpts (which also included Jon Brion).
Based in the New Haven area, Valauskas (a high school biology teacher) and Falcone (who wears many hats) have been making music together for years. In addition to being Valauskas' songwriting collaborator, bandmate & producer, Falcone has served the Connecticut music scene since the early ’80s with Jon Brion in The Excerpts, his own Dean and the Dragsters and a host of others. He has also worked on a national level collaborating with Norah Jones, Brian May (Queen), Aimee Mann, Lydia Loveless, Susannah Hoffs and Neko Case. On History of Panic, produced by Falcone, their shared love of the punchy pop of Crowded House, The Posies and Aimee Mann helps them nail a distinctive, accessible, radio-friendly sound from the start.
Recent Praise for History of Panic
"Valauskas’ melodious soprano and producer Dean Falcone’s colorful pop references combine for an effervescent sound, giving the analytical reflections a buoyancy that delight over ten songs. History Of Panic is a collection of adult love songs and a sometimes primer in power pop psychology.
It takes less than ten seconds to be hooked with a propulsive intro from the lead track “Do Over.” Powered by Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks and guitarist Falcone, “Do Over” is like a burst of the Raspberries laced with a little Big Star. And just as you think Eric Carmen’s going to bust in howling in the room, enter the mild mannered and even tempered Valauskas who comes with an olive branch, bearing a peace proposal and espousing the virtues of making up to a lover in “Do Over.”
-Steve Wosahla, No Depression
“The band recorded this gem of an album with a little help from their friends, including drummer extraordinaire Dave Mattacks, Jon Auer of The Posies, and several luminaries from their home base of New England. The album is filled with sprightly, 80s College Radio influenced sound featuring Valauskas' clear, smooth vocals, cool chord changes and lots of hooks. The opening track, "Do Over", may be one of the best you hear in 2018.”
-David Bash, Shindig! Magazine...The Latest
“The opener “Do Over” is a rich, meticulously multi-layered single anchored by Shellye’s crisp vocal style and some great chord changes. “Gravity” has a sweetly smooth chorus, very much like Aimee Mann but with a lot less detached angst. I could not find a bit of filler here, as the style varies from the bouncy “Cracked Up” to a quiet folky version of Cheap Trick’s “Mandocello.” And the band rocks out on the grand “Leftover Mistake,” one of the best songs here. Highlights include “Cheap Shot” and the final track “Tuck Me In,” which is brimming with good feeling. Highly Recommended.”
-Aaron Kupferberg, Powerpopaholic
Mayer’s Picks – The Best of 2018 (So Far), the Songs
Leftover Mistake, The Shellye Valauskas Experience (from the DeeVeeUs Records release History Of Panic)
"The early leader for power pop song of the year. The perfect blend of an infectious hook and an equally incessant beat."
-Mayer Danzig, Twangville
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