With lyrics about chainsmoking and neglecting houseplants, "Funeral" might not depict the healthiest ways of coping with grief, but the picture Americana-tinged newcomer Sam Valdez paints is one in which many will find comfort and kinship.
With delicate guitar lines and vocals saturated with melancholy, "Funeral" is a shimmering heartbreak of a track. Valdez explains the new release is "about preserving a memory when the physical part of someone isn't there anymore" – a bittersweet feeling she somehow manages to capture in four minutes of shoegaze haze punctuated by the soft rhythm of tambourine and snare.
There's something magical to Valdez's simple command of a melody that makes "Funeral" resonate long after it fades. Whether you catch the lyrics or not, the track settles around you with a remarkable stillness that harks back to the stunning works of Sylvia Plath, from whom Valdez took particular inspiration. It makes you want to take a moment before breaking the spell and heading back into the outside world.