Buried Valley offers us yet another glimpse into the solo expression of one of the many talented minds behind the booming psych scene popping up in Los Angeles. Under the Siren pseudonym, Bethany of Pocahaunted takes a step back from the duo spirit jams to ride upon a beam of melancholy that is spiraling slowly into silence. ?Living Light? relies on a simple palette consisting of Bethany?s lovely voice, a guitar, and plenty of reverb for twenty glorious minutes. Both tracks are like a looped descent into the spirit world tapped by Pocahaunted but approached with much more trepidation and a lot less volume. The A-side, ?Feathered Crown,? is a ten-minute beauty to behold, opening with a strong, melodic refrain which emerges a few times throughout the track, then digs in deep, her voice always a lingering presence, ghostly, boring a discreet hole into my psyche through which small feedback lines whistle like wind.
My one complaint would be the lack of dynamics in the songwriting. Both compositions are similarly split between a lower movement and a vigorous refrain, often separated by obvious volume shifts. The b-side ?Spiral Spell? has a more halting approach to the compositional form, but it works in a similar fashion as the a-side. The arrangements and instrumentation may not be the most engaging, but it seems that these play out like extra layers which serve more to accentuate and frame Bethany?s pristine singing performance. Wordless, absorbing, and exact, her vocals in Pocahaunted were always a large part of the draw, but here, they are fully revealed making this project an enticing avenue for further development of her unique approach to affective chant. Amongst the rising tide of vocally-based experimental music becoming more prevalent by the day, the Siren project definitely keeps a disembodied head above the tribe. 7/10 -- Kenneth Zubiate (6 March, 2007)