ALBUM: ‘be/ep’ – BP Valenzuela

The first few seconds of “Geomorph”, be/ep’s opening track, is vividly reminiscent of a post-night out rendezvous done in a whim, crafted with Oriental strings at the backdrop, like a haphazard affair in the vein of a Wong Kar-wai feature. The second song, “Building”, seamlessly follows, clearly yearning for intimacy but with an echo of fear and reticence.

B.P. Valenzuela gives us a glimpse of her thought process, a window to her feelings even, sprawled on her lyrical poetry fashioned after the paradoxical and unconventional e.e. cummings– a poet she confessed to be an inspiration to her songwriting. Hers, however, is more reserved. As outlandish her champion can be on overtly narrating the physical ways of expressing romance, her style is more taciturn but still maintains an impressionistic approach; like a timid woman who fills notebooks upon notebooks of poems and confessions she dare not utter with an audience. But that’s how the quality of her work shines: in its uncompromised honesty. After all, she chose to probe into the core of music’s lifeblood: the state of being. Being in love, specifically. In “The General Scheme of Things”, a personal favorite, she examines the larger picture. Not in the manner of demystifying the unknown, but almost like sitting down under a tree, alone, and just mull life in general without any pressure.

There are faint similarities between her melodies, especially in “All That You Are” and Coldplay’s cathartic, lesser known songs in Parachutes. Her electronic arrangements lean towards a mixture of Brian Eno, Daughter, and Love in Athens, except maybe in the closing track, “Second Nature”, where she vaguely reminds me of Neko Case. That said, B.P. Valenzuela is a fledgling entity of her own, with a long musical background that was initially spent discovering her own voice and though playing guitars for bands over the years. It’s clear with Be/Ep that she sees the world through rose-colored glasses, never to be the pragmatic one, and will almost always be caught up in the whirl of neoclassicism, restoring and embedding fragments of her life and its lessons to her music, and maybe, truly, in the general scheme of things.

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