Michael Holloway
MKE Music

Jorge Vallentine & The Honest Love’s Debut EP Offers Emotional Journey

'Grace, For Those Who Need It' is acoustic guitar-centered tale of broken relationship.

By - Feb 27th, 2024 03:58 pm
Jorge Vallentine & The Honest Love. Photo credit: Karl Alan Media.

Jorge Vallentine & The Honest Love. Photo credit: Karl Alan Media.

For Jorge Valle, music is a form of journaling.

“My life – everything I do – I want to be as honest as I can with people,” Valle says. “(My music) is a practice of journaling what I’m going through – especially in the past couple of years, it has become a lot more transparent.”

As a result, Valle’s music can be quite heavy. Not heavy in the genre sense of the word – Valle actually performs solo with just an acoustic guitar. But the music carries an emotionally heavy weight. You can hear the raw passion and intensity in his vocals – on one track, as Valle sings, “…and I’m not that kid you pushed near suicide,” his voice almost breaks.

But it never does. Valle is doing better these days, and the songs are more an invitation than they are a cry for help. Valle wants his songs to resonate with his fans, and he wants you, the audience, to join him on his journey of healing.

“Have you been treated in ways you knew were damaging but still felt yourself seemingly unable to walk away from a relationship that was slowly destroying you?” Valle writes on his website. “…if you’re in a relationship like that now or still healing from one, I hope (these songs will) help you release some pent up feelings and find healing in that, just as they did for me.”

Valle performs under the name Jorge Vallentine & The Honest Love, and his debut four-track EP, titled Grace, For Those Who Need It, is an exploration of what he refers to as the darkest moments of his life. The songs are inspired by the emotional fallout from a 12-year relationship that ended in divorce.

The EP begins with “Your Talking Dog,” a summation of what that relationship felt like from Valle’s perspective. Valle sings, “I’m all bark and you’re all bite/Somehow I’ve never been right/I guess we’ll do things your way/And your talking dog has learned to stay.” With a solemn intro that shifts into a slightly groovier rhythm, Valle sets the stage for his tale of heartbreak and self-reconciliation.

Next is “Stockholm Syndrome,” a reflection of Valle’s time spent in couples therapy.

“I was looking through all of these things and (asking myself), “Why do I feel this way in my relationship’ and started to make connections,” Valle says. “I’m trying to love this person and I keep getting hurt more and I keep finding reasons to stay.”

Valle adopts a more percussive guitar-playing style for this song, muting his guitar strings between strumming chords to create an almost triumphant-sounding marching beat that perfectly leads up to the moment that Valle sings, “…and learn to love myself as I deserve.”

On “You’re a Narcissist, My Dear,” Valle takes the gloves off. Valle sings, “I’ve been getting clear of who you are my dear/And there’s nothing but a hateful leech inside.”

You can hear the anger and frustration in Valle’s vocals – at times it almost reaches its boiling point. But he always maintains his composure, and the emotional spikes in the song add a dynamic depth. Valle’s vocals drive the tune just as much as his rhythmic guitar playing.

The EP concludes with “Lifelines,” a song that examines Valle’s reconnection with his spirituality.

“It was the first song that I wrote that had religious undertones,” Valle says. “The day I started the divorce process for a 12-year relationship – it was a hard day for me and this song just came out. I don’t have a specific belief system but there is some magic (out there).”

“Lifelines” is the soft landing after “You’re a Narcissist, My Dear,” a fitting conclusion to Grace, For Those Who Need It. There’s comfort in Valle’s vocals – you’ve followed him on this painful journey the past three songs, and you’re hopeful now that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There’s a linear narrative structure to this EP – we’re introduced to Valle’s past relationship with “Your Talking Dog,” and then taught why he stayed for so long in “Stockholm Syndrome.” He angrily fights back in “You’re A Narcissist, My Dear,” but ultimately finds solace in “Lifelines.” This structure paired with Valle’s non-specific lyrics makes it an easily relatable experience to the listener.

While the lyrics in “Lifelines” might be speaking to a higher power, they also serve as a way for the audience to connect with Valle’s music. Valle sings, “Who knew that these dark times would be lifelines to your love.” For those who find that they can relate their own experiences to Valle’s, Grace, For Those Who Need It could become a lifeline to a newfound love of their own.

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