The Strange Valentines - Folk Music for Twisted Souls
Blend the heart of an ‘80’s Australian rocker with the soul of a maritime kitchen partier, and you might get a sense of the brand of ‘folk music for the twisted soul’ that is the duo, The Strange Valentines. Based out of Regina, Saskatchewan their strong melodies, soulful stories, quirky humour, and rich harmonies, has been described as if the Kinks jammed with Fleetwood Mac using only acoustic instruments in a folksy type backdrop. They are currently sharing music and promoting their 5th album ‘Society of Good Intentions’ released February 14, 2018.
David Farrell is an accomplished guitarist previously part of the Australian rock circuit touring and playing with various bands, opening for such major acts as INXS and Canned Heat. Janet Mills was born into Nova Scotia kitchen parties, and plays mandolin, mandola, and piano, but of course, not all at the same time. The two met randomly in Atlanta, Georgia and struck a chord, so to speak. Spanning oceans and attempting music over Skype provide for a few stories in songs reflected in their music.
The ‘Society of Good Intentions’ is the fifth album for The Strange Valentines and the second since moving to Saskatchewan. Album sounds have been a journey from more electric rock sounds to more acoustic folk in this latest effort lending an honesty and rawness via acoustic guitar and mandolin.
Both members share lead and harmony vocals. David Farrell’s warm, engaging somewhat Tom Petty-ish tones, or the sweet haunting passion of Janet Mills, perhaps reminiscent of Helen Reddy, tell stories in songs of personal struggle, nostalgia, and what might have been, with rich blended harmonies and some quirky twists. Ranging from the depths of ‘Bad Day’, the despair of ‘Valentine Vampire’ to the triumph of ‘Tortoise’ or being lost in ‘The Rural Abyss’, songs have an element of intimacy, inviting a feeling of sharing one’s soul over toast and tea.