Everything by Huge SharkRelease date: April 3, 2023
Picture the scenery, it’s 1985. And the music scene is growing stronger in College circuits by going beyond the big names that you would often read in music magazines. And when you think of artists such as Kate Bush, Bill Laswell, Peter Gabriel, Happy Rhodes, Michael Hedges, Vashti Bunyan, and Nick Drake, they’re the ones that’ll be a part of your musical soundtrack.
For Valerie Polichar, she has finally stepped up to the plate and find her truce voice with her solo project, Huge Shark and her first full-length studio album, Everything. Recorded over seven years, Everything details Valerie’s old scrapbook by revisiting her older compositions, followed by five new songs she has brought to the table.
With international collaborators from vocalist Garry Franklin, Gary Cahan on saxophone, guitarist and Ebowist Hilliat Fields, drums and bassist Pete Nickerson, and guitarist Michael Wojtasiak, they have proven themselves that they pull together as a team by giving Val, a big and mighty push to the finish line.
From the dance floor pop of ‘He Dared Me’ to ‘Lose Your Love,’ there are strong vibrant feels of Talk Talk, ABBA’s ‘Lay All Your Love on Me’, and Blondie’s ‘Atomic’ rolled into one. You can feel the heat, dancing until dawn, and the sweat pouring down your face. Valerie knows when the time is right, and the time to get going before the pulsating beats come marching right in your face.
‘Rolling Away’ sees Polichar driving down the deserted highway, reflecting both the past and present whilst looking forward into the future. You can hear the acoustic-jazzy piano arrangements between Fields and Cahan as they’re in the passenger’s seat with a Bowie-sque atmosphere from the Heathen-era.
With ‘Breath-Taking’ you can just close your eyes and envision yourself at the French Riviera, looking at the beautiful beaches across the Mediterranean coast and being free from all of the craziness that’s been going on. There’s the gentle lullaby sounds, Franklin sharing background vocals with Polichar, and Fields making his Ebow sounding like an accordion in a Frippertronic tone.
Fields returns to his smoky sax sections as he walks around the streets of 1950s Paris in Black-and-White by helping Val give ‘A Prayer for Rain’ before the sudden loss of a loved one becomes a gut-wrenching turned uplifting composition for the ‘Atoms’ to begin. Then just as everything comes to an end, she sings ‘Mathematics’ in the forms of Tears for Fears’ mournful classic ‘Mad World’ adapted by Gary Jules.
And the operatic forms that she has in a symphonic form, brings it all in front by letting listeners know that tomorrow will be a brand new day. Val’s delivery on her first full-length album is quite remarkable ride from start to finish. And it’s an album that’ll be played, for the rest of time.