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ep review: pastel mood

Pastel Mood, Valley Palace’s debut EP, seemed to be crafted together by fate. The face of Valley Palace, Nathan Taylor, began his songwriting process a year ago before the EP was ever conceptualized. He’d repeat riffs by accident just to realize that’s exactly what he wanted. Mixed and mastered by S E V and released on a whim, the EP unfolds organically, anxious to be heard by the world.

“Till Then” sonically is the equivalent of waking up in the morning: the sun’s beams glaze over you, your view is hazy, and you wonder if you’re ready to wake up or if you’re still dreaming. Title track “Pastel Mood” kicks in with the same riff heard in “Till Then,” only now beaming and fully fleshed out. As the riff hits once more, the listener realizes that their dreams and reality might be one in the same. 

Each song carries the listener through the rest of the day with its consistency. “Take Me” makes the listener daydream of bluer skies during the dragged-out high noon. “In The Glass” has a similar theme of escapism: “I got the feeling that you run from me… What aren’t you ready for?” The chorus pleads with questions, while the song ends with a confirmation, as if he knows that the questions will remain unanswered: “I’d never place the blame, You still own my name.” 

“I am too extreme of a person to ever ignore my emotions,” Taylor told us in an interview. “I dive headfirst into my emotions… I always feel like I have to communicate everything.” 

“A Dream In Love” closes the EP with Taylor’s heart on his sleeve. Rather than sing, Taylor narrates this song, reading lyrics off as spoken word poetry. This track mimics dusk falling, where everyone but the listener is asleep. It’s easiest to be honest when there’s no one else around: 

undress the layers that I’ve put on

you’ll find my skin is the thickest one

still somehow thin

when the time comes

the time I spend alone

desperate to feel known.

Pastel Mood is Valley Palace’s most honest and heartfelt release to date. It’s not only about self-fulfillment, but about finding pieces of yourself in other people. Each song attempts to converse with the listener (a.k.a. complete strangers) about one’s innermost desires, all of which are sincere forms of intimacy.

Listen to Pastel Mood here:

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