Premiere: Val Hollie’s Wistful ‘The Man Who Has Dreams’ Is New Orleans’ Finest Psych-Pop

New Orleans has a long, swampy history as the land of blues, R&B, rock, folk, and traditional music of all kinds. But that doesn’t mean musicians with pop proclivities aren’t also toiling away down in the southern musical hotbed. Val Hollie is the project of Peter Campanelli, a man who is definitely fascinated with pop music, but manages to imbue a genre often dismissed for its flightiness with songs that are anchored in deeper, soulful rhythms.

Campanelli began working alongside Ross Farbe of Video Age in a studio they built inside a gutted house, and the result was Val Hollie’s self-titled debut EP, which came out in 2015. This collection of six rubbery, wistful pop songs put the duo on the map, and they began to working on a longer full-length album.

Though they’re still in the studio honing tracks for that record, they’ve decided to share the first new track from those sessions, the loping ’80s psychedelic pop of “The Man Who Has Dreams.” Even though it may be slow for a pop song, the track never falters in its jaunty, careening strut. Even in the last two years, the difference in confidence and command that Campanelli has over his voice is clear. It’s a promising step forward for a band who are just beginning to hit their stride. Listen above and check out their initial EP below if you’re unfamiliar.

To further contextualize the group, consider that last year they opened for Delicate Steve when he came through New Orleans. Look for Val Hollie’s full album coming soon.