MV & EE (Matt “MV” Valentine, once the brawn of the Tower Recordings, and Erika “EE” Elder, CEO of Heroine Celestial Agriculture and The MV & EE Medicine Show) have landed at DiCristina Stairbuilders bearing a new release, Drone Trailer, featuring The Golden Road: Doc Dunn (pedal steel, guitar, harmony), Mike Smith (bass, fender rhodes, harmony), and James Anderson (drums, engineer) that is coming out later this Winter. You may recognize these names as part of MV & EE’s touring band when they scorched across New England and the Rust Belt en route to Terrastock this past June..
Drone Trailer is a consolidation of the previous musical high-life of the duo’s space shanties
for the 21st century . In other words, MV & EE explore their unique mix of lunar raga and astral string band music, with a couple deep-space burners/covert jams such as opening blast “Anyway” thrown in to bust it all open.
Whoa. Weird release. Like many different bands crammed into a six-song slab, MV & EE go from distorted squawk rawk to Neil Young at his most somber, Velvet Underground artsy to Vivian Girls/early K Records happy-incompetence seamlessly. Philadelphia Weekly 1/7
Having recorded more than 9,000 albums since the start of the decade — okay, that’s a slight exaggeration — Vermont residents Matt Valentine and Erika Elder exhibit signs of creeping dementia on Drone Trailer. With his piercing whine and wheezy harmonica, Valentine suggests a damaged, decomposing clone of acoustic Neil Young. He’s intriguing on the shambolic, ten-minute “Weatherhead Hollow,” encircled by spidery electric guitars.More thrillers such as the raggedy, psychedelic “Anyway,” which showcases Elder’s dazed warbling, would enhance the proceedings…Jon Young/Spin February
Rural folk takes an embryonic journey to Mars on MV & EE and The Golden Road’s latest release, Drone Trailer. Matt Valentine (guitar, “bantar” a banjo/sitar hybrid), Erika Elder (electric mandolin, lap steel) and “a revolving cast of like minded spirits” merge stripped-down acoustics with blues-infused psychedelic riffs to create the kind of music Valentine hopes “will set people free.” Songs that last five minutes on the album travel to double digit jam sessions when met with the energy of a live audience and “the Zen wrangle of the moon,” says Valentine. The duo is taking its trailer on a U.S. tour this January, when they are likely to inspire barefoot dancing in wet grass under the stars. “We like playing for people who you’d want to burn one with,” says Valentine. “Not the nine to fivers.” It’s the kind of music that thrives in the festival setting but plays equally well while searching for solace in your bedroom- think of the scene in Almost Famous when William lies on his bed listening to Zeppelin for the first time. Heather Simon/Relix.com 1/6
MV & EE = Hush Arbors + The Blithe Sons + Devendra Banhart – the Venezuelan mysticism
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-never judge an album by its first track. “Anyway” launches into a guitar-and-drum combination, along with vocals from Erika “EE” Elder, and the result sounds like something from The Donnas with even more noise. This was a little heavy for my taste, but I was up for giving it a try. The first song came to its screeching close and took an unexpected turn as it floated softly into “The Hungry Stones,” which begins with soft acoustics and the gentle voice of Matt “MV” Valentine. This song has a much folksier feel, with its consistent strumming and occasional harmonica overlays. The rest of the album continues to surprise as it drifts between experimental electric sounds and soft folk space-outs, which create a perfect blend. Each song flawlessly fuses into the next as it twists and swirls through a world of raucous guitars and gossamer-like acoustics and southern twangs. -Erin Kelleher/S.L.U.G. magazine January
Matt Valentine deserves credit for being one of the most prolific musicians in the of the last decade. A productive stoner who seemingly lives to “jam.” And while some would say his best days were during his time as leader of the group The Tower Recordings, his current project (current being since the start of the decade) with partner Erika “EE” Elder has gained him even wider notice and acclaim.
The duo has been nothing short of prolific, releasing upwards to twenty releases in about seven years, and while one must appreciate the fortitude it takes to put so much material out there, I have felt that a listen to a new MV + EE record would be a hit or miss affair. It has sort of soured me to the idea of plunking down ten or twelve bucks to purchase anything new by them.
On Drone Trailer, our stoner heros seemed to have pulled together their Neil Young and Grateful Dead tendencies and tightened the screws in more to give us six smoky jams that come across as the best translation as what Valentine and Elder are all about. Especially with a fierce, almost Royal Trux opener like “Anyway.” Where Elder sings over a pounding Diddy-wah-Diddy beat and Neil Haggerty string plucking that melts into some weird sonic collage halfway through.
The problem with being a band that likes to jam (opposed to a jam band) is that you can have your opening anthem but it trails off through the next five or so songs. Things get muddled. There is a possibility that this was taken into consideration in the recording process as the songs from the mentioned opener to the ten-minute slow-burn “Weatherhead Hollow” our friends pull everything together very nicely as best they can.Jay Diamond/ HexEdJournal.com 1/5
Drone Trailer might be an apt name for a record that owes much to both avant-rock drone and rural acid folk, though not exactly in easy measures. If there’s any rough reference point to be had in the world of above-ground rock to MV & EE, it could be the most eccentric side of Neil Young at his most country-acoustic. But if Young can sound a little stoned, enigmatic, and/or peculiar on some of his odder excursions into that territory, MV & EE sound far more disassociated and far less accessible, rambling away in a manner that suggests they wouldn’t even notice if the earth swallowed them up whole. If a song like “The Hungry Stones” can’t help but beg comparison to an arty, primitive slant on Young, other tracks owe relatively little to folk-rock, “Anyway” getting the album off to a lurching start with clamorous anthemic trash rock in which Erika Elder’s singing can barely be made out. Steel guitar by Elder and guest Doc Dunn supply much of the drone throughout the album, loopy licks enveloping Matt Valentine’s languid vocals on “Weatherhead Hollow” and “Huna Cosm” to the point where the duo sound a little like a cross between Young and Jandek. Stoner folk fights it out with creepy atmospherics on other tracks as well, the hard rock moves of “Anyway” never resurfacing. .Richie Unterberger/Allmusic.com
Boasting an impressive resume of musical compilations, performances and eclectic instruments, I expected that MV & EE’s Drone Trailer would reflect this . The first track sounds like a hybrid of ’90s grunge and ’70s jam with EE, Erica Elder, on vocals. MV, Matt Valentine, leads the second track into a place eerily reminiscent of Neil Young. From this point the album slides into a heavy psychedelic mode, known by the artists as “lunar raga,” which plays as stony as its name would imply.if you’re in search of the experimental variety, you may just find something here. Sarah Kirkpatrick/Synthesis.net 12/30