“Apollonian” is defined as “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised and disciplined,” according to North Cowichan musician Richie Valley and that’s why he knows you’ll feel great when you listen to his new jazz album dubbed just that.
His third LP, Valley’s Apollonian showcases easy listening instrumentals of acoustic guitar, strings and piano with natural and ambient expression. If that’s not enough to get you into a great head-space, rest assured the price of the full-length LP sure will: free!
“Streaming a new album absolutely free is groundbreaking. I feel this opens new opportunities for other musicians as well as myself,” Valley explained. “Unrestricted streaming helps level the playing field where any musician can release their own art, and every musician doing so may have an enhanced opportunity of reaching their artistic goals. For me, where I am now, the commercial aspect is unimportant. It is more important to share music, and to share the benefits with listeners which might flow.”
Valley has played guitar since he was 11 and has previously released LPs Sticky (2010) and Zoom Zoom (2009) to his credit. It’s more than a job, it’s a way of life for the artist. Music is in his blood. His mother was a music teacher and his grandfather played piano for silent movies.
Those wishing to support Valley still can, however.
“Music distribution providers such as Spotify, Amazon or Apple Music, which I am listed on via Distrokid.com do charge in several ways for content, including charging per digital download,” he explained. “It’s free to stream (but with these retailers not the whole song), but if you want a copy for example on your own hard drive — that’s when there is commercial activity. So streaming free is a hybrid situation where there is still potential for revenue, plus you may see and enjoy an incredibly wider artistic reach.”
The album received 1,041 internet streams in its first two weeks, according to independent music platform Bandlab.
“By streaming on Bandlab.com I can stream the entire Apollonian album free worldwide unrestricted,” Valley noted. “Also there is no advertising seen on Bandlab — it’s pure music content. The result is commercial-free LP content — that’s a refreshing change.”
Stream Apollonian at https://www.bandlab.com/richievalley
For listeners new to Valley’s work, the second track titled ‘It Doesn’t Matter Where’ is statistically the most listened to.
Brian Richardson, now playing with jazz band Annick and the Lakeside Loungers, reviewed Apollonian and said it is “A fantastic selection of original instrumental tunes with a great west coast vibe”.
If you’re down for some serenity, check out Valley, who is also a member of the Low Commitment Blues Band of Shawnigan Lake.