Valerie June’s highly anticipated second album, The Order of Time, is an enthralling and illuminating leap forward. On the new album, the Tennessee-bred, Brooklyn based songwriter weaves electric blues, African rhythms, cosmic atmospherics and delicate soul into an inventive and wholly original rumination on love, family, struggle and the passing of time. Produced by Matt Marinelli (Bad Brains), The Order of Time features twelve original songs all written by June.
Musically, June has refined and expanded her sound on the new album finding space from her previous work in its artful, self-assured restraint and overall cohesion. The collection’s finely sketched character studies brim with richness and detail while June’s ethereal, wide-open soundscapes provide a sterling backdrop for her remarkable Southern gospel and honey voice. Lyrical touch points such as ‘dancing shadows,’ ‘hot suppers,’ ‘curious neighbors,’ and ‘holy water’ draw the listener in and root these songs with density and weight.
The “inevitability of change” and “time as the ruler of Earth’s rhythm,” is the album’s foundation, explains June. “And the knowledge that with resilience and faith things can work out.”
“Long Lonely Road” is a reflective and somber lament as June’s voice reverberates over ringing guitar and unhurried drums, whereas the entrancing blues of “If And” internalizes regret in the face of time’s relentless churn. On the spiritual “Astral Plane,” June’s mystical vocal takes an otherworldly turn, whereas the sumptuous string arrangement on “With You,” is reminiscent of Nico’s most affecting work. Norah Jones adds her distinctive vocals to three tracks and “Shake Down” sparkles with background vocal contributions from her father, Emerson Hockett and brothers, Patrick and Jason Hockett.
The Order of Time follows June’s 2013 breakout LP, Pushin’ Against a Stone that established her as one of America’s “most intriguing, fully formed new talents” according to the New York Times. She garnered praise from NPR, “a singular performer” and New York Magazine, “a powerful singer and a blunt, bruising songwriter.” June also made memorable appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, CBS Saturday Morning, Rachael Ray, and Austin City Limits. She has toured with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and Sturgill Simpson, and performed at Newport Folk Festival, Carnegie Hall, and much more.
Long Lonely Road
Love You Once Made
Man Done Wrong
The Front Door
Just In Time
Slip Slide On By