KRISTIAN PHILLIP VALENTINO has released a new single, Cold Hearted, from his forthcoming album. A unique and touching themed album about a relationship that moves with the seasons and goes through all the stages from spring and finally into winter when the relationship dies. Cold Hearted is about the end of a relationship and it is an absolutely heartfelt, tear-jerker of a performance.
Kristian likens himself to Jason Isbel and whilst we can kind of see that, we all at Send Me Your Ears felt that there’s more depth to Valentino’s music. This is beautiful singer-songwriter art. This is almost like a poem that has been put to a melody with a guitar playing in the background. Its almost as if there really isn’t any need for the usual structure of a song. Cold Hearted says everything it needs to say in its own way.
Valentino has an astounding range in his vocal dynamics. From some flawless falsetto in the early parts of the song through to some really gravelly belt in places that just ooze emotion. The high point for me was the line “no more games or fights or crazy shit” . The vocal versatility here is breathtaking.
Bolstering up Valentino’s unique and passionate vocals is some sublime finger picked guitar. Kind of made me think of Sean De Burca (look him up if you haven’t heard of him too). The overall feel of the song had a really gentle Counting Crows feel to it. The voice of Adam Duritz in particular.
My own personal thoughts on production would be to give a boost in the overall mix across the low mids. This will add to the overall warmth of the song. A little boost across high mids-highs will give some extra life, but with notch out around 8kHz to avoid boosting too much sibilance.
Perhaps a little more overall compression could be used, which will have a ducking effect to bring the guitar and vocal volumes more into line with each other and again, personally, I’d add a touch of hall reverb to the overall track.
This is a really emotional performance that sounds like both writing and recording were great therapy for Valentino. I am in awe of his chops on both the guitar and the vocals and simply cannot wait to hear more from this supremely talented North Carolina Artist.
We give this song our highest accolade of 5 ears out of 5