Dave Valdez’s musical roots all started with him playing his grandmother’s acoustic guitar in the suburbs of Chicago. After years of touring in pop/rock bands, he eventually decided to focus on writing his own material. Aiming to reflect a part of himself in his songs, Valdez’s goal was to “write a record that shows true meaning behind the words and expression it creates.” Valaska’s recent release, ‘Natural Habitat,’ had him working closely with Aaron Marsh of Copeland at The Vanguard Room in Lakeland, FL. At the same time, keeping the essence of his beginnings in mind, he incorporated a lot of home recordings into the album. This blend of both organic and polished elements is Valdez’s attempt at changing his style into a more raw and real sound.
Below, Valdez breaks down his new LP, discussing the meaning behind each track.
“On the Surface”
“On the Surface” is about only scratching the surface of thought, feelings, actions, etc. We only do enough to get by with everything but life would be so much more different if we just took a moment to dig deeper.
Death is in the cards for all of us, so why do we secretly believe that none of us will die. Plus, it’s also about Yashesh murdering his dad.
“Hammer & the Nails”
It’s all about being a songwriter and how it can change your scope on life. Battling the lines of asking if your misery makes your art or does your art make you miserable?
This is a song about wanting to be somewhere different, a different time period. I wrote the song after I saw Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
“War & Peace”
This is about a deteriorating relationship, but even through the downfall you still want to hold onto something that was positive and flourishing at one point in time, but you can’t grasp that it no longer is.
“Wildfire” is about the beginning of a relationship and how promising it can be, but also how each step is like walking on eggshells. You never really know what the wrong move could be.
This song was written from a mind to the heart. Many times our heart and instincts get us into situations that usually the brain has to bail us out of, but still many of us always listen to our intuition.
A song that conveys what the whole record is saying together: being at home, alone with your thoughts, alone with your reflections, and every emotion that comes along with that.
This is somewhere you’ve never traveled gladly beyond. Someone you want to be with but never really see it happening.
Pick up Valaska’s new album, Natural Habitat.
For more information and tour dates, check out Valaska’s Facebook page.