Melbourne-based Dean Valentino is Slowcoaching, a highly engaging music project whose new single “Night Fiction” explores “the isolating anxiety that can creep in from nowhere and the crippling search for familiarity and comfort in the dark.” A project attempting to explore “the nightly process of the attempt to relax a ticking mind” presents itself a daunting challenge, but Valentino pulls it off. Beginning with a purely nocturnal synth pad that creeps in, a warmly welcoming guitar jangles its way alongside a bouncy bass. Valentino’s has a melodically convincing and strong vocal presence, the twang in his voice being nicely reflective of the accompanying guitar tones.
A beautiful instrumental guitar interlude flashes at the one-minute mark, quickly accompanied by a graceful synth addition. Like a hybrid of Wild Nothing’s post-punk allure and Travis Bretzer’s jangly goodness, alongside The War on Drug’s timeless rock-led yearning, Valentino possesses a sound all of his own here despite a variety of enjoyable comparisons at play. “Night Fiction” is a phenomenal track — one of my favorite submissions in recent memory.