Already renowned for his tenure as lead guitarist for prog icons Caligula's Horse as well as his storied work as a songwriter and producer, formidable axe-man Sam Vallen has today unveiled his debut solo track Flicker, complete with Vallen's trademark sonic colour, soaring melodics and virtuosic execution.
A beautiful and bold outing, also featuring C-Horse drummer Josh Griffin, the buoyant Flicker emphatically cements Vallen's ravishing songwriting chops, while also showcasing a fresh creative expansion that is undeniably a Sam Vallen output; but one that is also something new beyond the usual Caligula's Horse banner.
Aptly embodying its moniker, Flicker glimmers with salient melodics alongside oscillating textures and tones, flitting back and forth between affable grooves and heavier territory. And clocking in at just shy of 6 and a half minutes in total, Flicker's indelible personality stems from Vallen's otherworldly ability to speak, emote and excite through his guitarwork; put simply, there's a reason why Sam Vallen is one of the most respected guitarists in town, and Flicker is further proof of this fact.
Of the new track, Vallen has shared: "It was wonderful to explore a significant part of my musical heritage in 'Flicker'. I've always adored instrumental guitar-led music –in fact, Caligula's Horse started with a lot of this at its foundation. But over the years I've had less and less time to really inhabit that musical world. The writing and production of 'Flicker' felt both challenging and familiar in that respect. It embodies a melding of my lifelong influences and a snapshot of my creative palette at this moment in time. I couldn't be happier with how it came together".
With mastering by Forrester Savell, additional engineering by Jared Adlam, drumming courtesy of Griffin and everything else carried out by Vallen himself, Flicker is currently slated as a standalone single, with no direct plans for a full-blown solo album at this time. But regardless of what comes next for Vallen, there's more than enough to dive into and devour on Flicker - go and grab a listen and a watch below!
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BY TIANA SPETER