NYC-based band Valipala recently released their groovy and creative debut EP entitled Mango City.
Coming off of four years of development, composing, and and recording, this record has been a long time coming for Valipala. They originally formed in 2012 under the name With Snack and spent years perfecting their sound and compositional style.
After joining with Nick Dunston on bass and Lauren Scales on vocals in late 2016, the band translated their name to Finnish and found the spark that motivated them to create Mango City.
What resulted is an album that serves as an ode to the vintage grooves of Motown as well as a foray into a new, modern take on R&B sound.
Mango City opens with the energetic track “Mongolian Afternoon,” which highlights vocalist Lauren Scales’s range. It’s a song that will put a smile on your face, from the funky beats to the jazz influences in the brass. A fun and exciting way to begin the album, “Mongolian Afternoon” is a great first impression of the band’s sound.
Another highlight of the album is “Candygram,” an impressive showing of the complexity of the band’s arrangements as well as the capabilities of their talented musicians.
This song is based off of an old band member’s childhood memory of receiving a candygram at school and wondering if his crush sent it to him, only to go home and find out it was from his mom. “Candygram” has an apt nostalgic quality, connecting between sweeping romantic moments and periods of energy.
For Valipala, Mango City is “A true labor of love”
Recording this EP took a lot of hard work, from building a recording studio in the band’s shared apartment to bringing in countless musicians from around New York City.
“Probably the most ambitious part of the recording process was the string quartet we put together,” keyboardist Aviv Goldgeier reflects. “We scraped a few extremely talented musicians from Juilliard — just writing out string arrangements on paper was something completely new to us, and it definitely paid off.”
After weeks of recording and mixing, Valipala emerged with an album that truly represents who they are and who they want to be.
Each track has an air of confidence that contributes to its beauty and captivating quality. The band’s precision and dedication to the quality of their music led them to have extremely high standards, which definitely paid off. Mango City is unique, funky, and not to be missed.