Review by Emily Smith
Dance and EDM outfit Valiant releases a new single titled “Feels Like Home” featuring Kalu, an especially captivating track due to its powerful lyrics and instrumentals.
The track starts with a spacey atmosphere that bleeds into the verses. The vocals on this track keep the sound a bit more grounded and center the focus on the verses. During the pre-chorus, the song really begins to build up to the lyrics that house the title track (“When I’m with you it feels like home”). Throughout the chorus are crazy, scattered high-pitched vocal embellishments, a characteristic of many EDM tracks and the repetition of “When I’m with you it feels like home” in between continues.
“‘Feels Like Home’ was never actually supposed to be a full track. It was first written as an orchestral introduction, for when we played live,” says Valiant.
The vocals throughout the verses are fairly impressive and have a solid range of depth. For instance, in the first verse, the vocals are already pretty deep, but then as the song builds to the chorus, they progressively reach moments where a higher register of vocals begins to be utilized.
The vocal effects take an experimental turn at points within the song. Throughout some verses, the vocals are blended into sound effects that help separate them through the song and add an odd pitch during various parts. At the end of the bridge, for instance, the pitch on the word “headstrong” in the lyrics “I know I come across too headstrong” is toyed with to sound a bit off-key.
The lyrics on this track catch the listener by surprise. From a distance, if someone were to pay no attention to the lyrics, the track would seem like the familiar kind of EDM track heard at a club; Flashing lights, people going crazy on the dance floor. Yet the lyrics are surprisingly full of regret and longing over a past lover. The lyrics mentioned beforehand, “I know I come across too headstrong,” finish with “but I was never good enough for anyone,” which express a kind of sadness that would otherwise be unexpected in such a lively song.
We were really happy with how the verses were emotive, uplifting and almost cinematic, juxtaposed with the more commercial UK Dance music chorus/drop,” says Valiant.
Other lyrics in the song include “I was running to keep you safe/ but maybe it’s too late/ I left you on your own,” which focus on detaching from a person due to fear of hurting them. The singer fully acknowledges his faults with the lyrics, “All the times you ran away/ I was lost and now I know/ that you were not the one to blame.”
The bridge is the part of the song that transitions to a sound that captures the emotion within the lyrics best. While the rest of the song is surrounded by a very lively, buzzing instrumentation and vocal experimentation, the bridge is led by a few piano chords that allow the listener to focus more on the lyrics until the song builds up during the final pre-chorus.
Valiant delivers an exceptional performance in an energetic song that simultaneously tackles themes of regret in the lyrics. It is certainly an attention-grabbing track.