Wednesday, 24 February 2016


Herself is one of the many musical guises of former Lay Llamas member Gioele Valenti and under this moniker he has record several records of apocalyptic folk lo-fi songs that have been described as a harmonious meeting between Sparklehorse, Gravenhurst and Will Oldham. For the Gleaming EP Herself has joined forces with The Laissez Fairs, the hip, happening, maximum Mod Psych freakout band from Las Vegas led by ex Steppes member John Fallon, to create a wonderfully beguiling collection of five Psychedelic/Folk songs that radiate with warmth and beauty. It’s a record of delicate Psych tinted Alt-Folk that summons the ghost of Nick Drake to come and hang with Mercury Rev mixed with a more Psych Rock feel as John Fallon and Joe Lawless from the Laissez Fairs fill in the gaps left in Herself’s lo-fi sketches.

Opening with the fragile ‘Torches (Part I)’, a gentle Psych Folk song bathed in sumptuous mellotron and organ giving the track a pastoral Canterbury psychedelic seventies vibe, Gleaming is a million miles away from the Lay Llamas Psychedelic Electronic Afrorock groove. Although ‘I Don't Mind’ and ‘Torches (Part II)’ have a more Psych Rock feel with Fallon’s guitars reminiscent of classic Electric Prunes and Kinks as they swirl out in a lysergic blur, at its heart this is an excellent record that channels 90s US Alt-Folk/Rock. Both ‘The River’ and the closing track ‘Nihil’ are must a listen for fans of the likes of Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips and Sparklehorse…………this really is a wonderful record and a full album from this collaboration would be a real treat.

The Gleaming EP has been out for a few months now and is well worth checking out. Released by DeAmbula Records, Gleaming is available on CD and as a download from the Herself bandcamp page at We had planned to review this with Gioele Valenti’s other project Ju Ju but it looks like that has been put back till keep a sharp eye out for that. 


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