Release Date: May 15, 2012
Record label: Woodsist
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Indie Folk
Given the thoroughly extensive back catalog that MV & EE had created by the time of Space Homestead's release, it'd be bold to single out the 2012 album as a head-and-shoulders-above highlight on first blush. But in many ways, from the excellent title on down, Space Homestead functions as a perfect summary of the aesthetic that has driven the duo: a simultaneous embrace of zoned-out meditation and easygoing roots explorations that is never quite one or the other in full. It's not that long-noted touchstones such as the Grateful Dead, the Velvet Underground, and the Band, among many others, can't still be applied, but there's an easy deftness to the album's nine songs that results in a unified and remarkable listen, from the gentle drone-tinged serenity of the opening "Heart Like Barbara Steele" to the concluding "Porchlight > Leaves," a collage of soloing, percussion, and singing that feels like the after-impact of what's come before.
Growers, settlers, sumptuous shufflers stretching out a tired finger and reeling back not too far from the prone position — but back nonetheless. Nearly 40 minutes to devote to lazy graces and countless hours hence, Matt Valentine & Erika Elder are here for you as ever. Something dry and dusty and comfy and perhaps a little mildewed to ease you into a rare, sleepily sound satisfaction.
On what's about the 200th release from this psych duo, Matt Valentine and Erika Elder provide more of what they do best. Things are spacier than usual on the first six tracks, and there's not much melody to be found. But things cohere a bit on side two, with some trippy, Neil Young-esque guitar on "Too Far to See" and a nearly seven-minute "Wasteland" that'll blow you away.
Under the acronymic project title MV & EE, Vermont’s prolific duo of Matt Valentine and Erika Elder have released material in seemingly every conceivable format, length, and method. There are limited edition live cassettes, handbound multi-CD “wallets,” and LPs released on established oddities labels like Ecstatic Peace and their own Child of Microtones. But that’s the norm for DIY psych-folk bands like this.