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ALBUM REVIEW: Sweet Valley, ‘Stay Calm’
ALBUM REVIEW: Sweet Valley, ‘Stay Calm’

Stay Calm is exactly what you expect from a beat project by Nathan Williams and his brother Kynan.

The tape is reminiscent of some of Williams’ songs from Wavves’ 2009 hit, King of the Beach — specifically “Mikey Mouse.” The song was the first hint that he had aspirations beyond SoCal, stonery punk rock.

Stay Calm isn’t going to blow anyone away with new ideas, but it’s absolutely enjoyable. The brothers dutifully incorporate elements everyone loves, from soul samples, to twisted synths, to sputtering snares and rumbling bass. The whole record feels more baked than batch of cookies, but the back half is particularly stoned. “Eight” might get you a contact high.

Is it fair to make so many weed references? Yes (though it’s maybe a little annoying). Williams has always put his smoking habits right up front, along with the rest of himself. That’s why even if Stay Calm won’t blow you away, it’s great because it just is what it is.

Give it a listen for free on Spotify.

There’s also a new song out from Wavves, titled “Hippies Is Punks.” It’s very much a Wavves song, with a touch of ’90s Weezer. You can hear it on SoundCloud