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Kassi Valazza has a viscous, light gold voice. It swirls around in your head like whiskey in a snifter; vaporous, and intoxicating. For most of Dear Dead Days pedal steel and electric guitar lope along at half time, the in pocket rhythm section booming from deep in the low end. Its frequencies penetrate your flesh. The songs reverberate off your bones. Her lyrics drip down the inside of your skull.
There is a cult-like fascination growing around Kassi Valazza following the self-release of her 2019 debut album Dear Dead Days and her surprise 2022 EP Highway Sounds. She is seated squarely at the vanguard of new American songwriters strengthening and broadening the sound of country music as she tours with celebrated acts such as Melissa Carper and Riddy Arman. The Southwestern native resides in Portland, a hotbed of songwriters producing albums that both bear the torch and bend the arc of American roots music, where she recently signed with Fluff & Gravy Records — a label known for launching Anna Tivel and Margo Cilker.
Valazza’s forthcoming new album Kassi Valazza Knows Nothing is a spellbinding collection of songs that dangle like protective magic talismans, catching dreams and glinting light. She hypnotizes listeners with a sturdy, yet gentle, voice and painterly songwriting imbued with an independent spirit. Though her music plays country cousin to British folk, calling to mind greats like Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention) and Karen Dalton, a Southwestern American streak carves its way through these solemn, sweetly sung melodies like a canyon.
“Country music fans know that one of the best aspects of the genre is that it’s a paradox. In one way, it never changes. Three chords and the truth. In another way, it can’t help but change. Portland, Oregon’s Kassi Valazza fits that unified dichotomy perfectly.”- American Songwriter