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  • Bryon Harris

Valerie Williams - 'With An Asterisk'

Valarie Williams is a singer/songwriter out of Philly who has recently recorded two EPs by

herself. Let me clarify what that means. Her EP 'With An Asterisk" is a self-released work that was recorded in her bathroom. Valerie arranged and wrote every single song; she plays every instrument and sings lead and all the harmonies. With just that much information, I give this young woman a standing ovation for the multiple layers of talent it took to complete this project. Although the recording quality might not be the same as that of a professional studio using a recording engineer, there is no question that Valarie is a true artist and fans of raw talent will love this EP. 'With An Asterisk' does a fine job showcasing Valerie's instincts as an artist and her potential to be a charting artist.

The first track off the EP is “Asterisk”. The song begins with simple acoustic guitar and a nice bass line. Jumping into the verse Valerie’s voice is clear and present in the mix alongside her instrumentation giving her recording a raw live feel, exposing the natural talent she has. The song builds as electric guitar and vocal layering are added to the the foundation showing off the multitude of musical tools Valarie has in her arsenal. “Asterisk” is a testimony to Valarie’s authenticity as an artist and a nice opening statement for her EP. The song talks about the idea that there is no shame in letting good when a relationship seems to be teetering on good and bad. It is universally appealing.

The next track on the EP, “Disposable Hearts” is an emotional ballad. Filled with beautiful melodic vocal lines backed by sweet harmonies, “Disposable Hearts” is a fantastic display of Valarie’s vocal ability, but this song is more than a showcase for Valerie's vocals, it also graces us with an alluring arrangement featuring acoustic guitar, piano, bass and more. Valerie is a personal story teller; her songs speak poetically like a journal or diary of experiences that are honest, down-to-earth and real. "Now all I can do is watch you pass me by. You're talking to me while your looking someone else right in the eye. Your falling in love with girls like their nothing more than trading cards, disposable hearts." This song could be a big radio hit.

"Disposable Hearts" transitions smoothly into the next song “Pulled by the Tides,” another slow tempo ballad. “Pulled by the Tides” is sure to stick with you with its powerful chorus and great harmonies while she sings, “I don’t know where I’m going but I’ll get there eventually. I’m controlled by the moon and there’s nowhere I’d rather be”. Once again, Valerie shows that she is a sophisticated songwriter with a voice and a story that pulls you in beyond a musical level; she draws you in on an emotional level which is what good songwriting is all about.

The last song on the EP is “Darkness”. “Darkness” is a delicate piece with just piano and vocals. It is gorgeous. The song starts with a melodic piano line leading into the first verse. I reminded a little bit of Sarah MClaughlin and Sara Bareilles in the songs composition and genuineness. Being the most basic arrangement on her EP, “Darkness” gives off a very organic feel as Valarie pours her emotion into this track. This song does well to wrap up the EP leaving a lasting impression that is appreciative of a young woman who had the guts to record and release an EP on her own and share her amazing gift the world. 'With An Asterisk' does a great job in show-casing the raw, undeniable talent of Valarie Wiiliams who is a very fine singer, musician, arranger, songwriter and lyrcisit who gives her art everything she has and more.

Valarie is currently working on writing new material and conceptualizing her next album which she plans to be full length. "With An Asterisk" is available wherever digital music is sold including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and CDBaby. For more information on Valarie and to purchase her EP, you can also visit her website.

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