THE ORDER OF TIME
The only constant we can count on is time; staying true to our hopes and dreams is not as straightforward. Over the past few years, Valerie June has experienced a number of personal and medical setbacks, including the loss of her father and a diabetes diagnosis, but her 12-track album, The Order of Time, is a testament to the notion that sometimes good things come to those who wait.
Since her debut on MTV’S $5 Cover in 2009, June’s distinctive vocals and down-to-earth lyrics have gained her a growing fanbase. In 2010, she released Valerie June and the Tennessee Express, a collaborative ep with Old Crow Medicine Show, and in 2013, she crowdfunded her first solo album, Pushin’ Against a Stone. June’s latest release, however, is her most valiant.
Many of the songs on The Order of Time sprouted from seeds planted long ago. Polished and patient, these unrushed tracks and lyrics have themes of growth and vulnerability. As June commented in one of her candid, vulnerable interviews, “sometimes we forget to feel.” The Order of Time encourages listeners to thaw out their trepidation and allow their tenderness to germinate.
At times stoic and steadfast and at others doubtful and reflective, June maintains a relatable and approachable aura through her variable tones. The album’s two singles, “Shakedown” and “Astral Plane,” are playful in their range of pace, one a buoyant bootstomping anthem and the other a meandering ballad about self-love. Sometimes June boldly declares herself in the present moment, like when she sings, “Where I am is where I’ll be,” on “Long Lonely Road.” Other times, June’s lyrics bring a sense of urgency, reminding us that experiences, including relationships, are time sensitive: “Some things in life happen too slow/ One thing for sure happened too fast/ If you ain’t loving your woman/ Someone else will,” she croons on “If And.”
June’s vocals propel the music forward, no matter what song it is. The trumpets, banjos, claps, and cymbals fall into harmonic formation with her voice. Whether you need a guided, hypnotic lingering on the past or a reminder to hover in the ever-so-present, The Order of Time is an album you’ll always return to. As for the future? Only time will tell.
The Order of Time encourages listeners to thaw out their trepidation and allow their tenderness to germinate.