The alternative-rock-punk-emo band Valencia can be classified under so many different categories one would think their music would get swept under the rug. Upon further listening to their third album, Dancing With a Ghost, one would quickly realize that this isn’t your normal alternative rock music.
It’s hard to explain Valencia’s music without delving into its past because the lyrics and mood of its albums directly draws on those emotions so well. The album opens up with its namesake “Dancing With a Ghost”, and while upbeat and poppy at times, the lyrics paint a much more emotional and deeper picture.
“Still Need You Around” is one of the true gems of the album and is a perfect example of Valencia’s emotional connection that it strives for through the lyrics, “I’m tired now and my mind won’t quit/ since I got the news that you were sick/ I thought of life, time and death.” Valencia’s immense maturity stems from just after it finished its first album This Could Be a Possibility. Shortly after they started touring for the album, the band got news that lead singer Shane Henderson’s girlfriend was involved in a freak accident that ended up taking her life. What’s left is evident in Valencia’s sound, a young alternative-rock band that has had to deal with some very adult issues.
Dancing With a Ghost covers all of the genres that have been used to describe Valencia. “Days Go By” once again has a light hearted approach, starting the song with light tones from a xylophone, and then hits the gas with rock and hard-hitting lyrics. Songs like “Friday Night” and “Losing Sleep” harkens back to its alternative roots and provide good songs to round out the album.
But Valencia’s true strength is its emotionally charged lyrics that hang on Henderson’s diverse voice. The band is young and has no signs of stopping. With side projects and touring ahead, it looks like Valencia will be producing music for a while.