Valdez is the moniker of Colorado musician Nate Valdez, who forms half of the band In the Whale. Today we’re premiering a new video for his song “Ghost,” a track that showcases his intentionally lo-fi sound that’s influenced by folk, indie and punk. The song flies by at just over three minutes, chock full of frenetic acoustic guitar strumming and Valdez’s joyous vocal delivery.
“‘Ghost’ is about longing to be seen for who you are and understanding that people you care about have the power of acknowledgement,” said Valdez. ‘Do you believe in me,’ asking for others to try and see you how you see yourself. Knowing your worth and reaching out for validation and support.”
In addition to the new song, Valdez has shared a video for the song “Ghost.” It features a local Coloradoan named Nick, who is seen rocking out as he pantomimes performing the song, wearing a Portishead shirt as he drums along and later, uses a Guitar Hero guitar controller to act as if he’s ripping out the track’s guitar solo.
“I have met Nick many times,” he said. “He is a fan of my other band and would come to shows and rock out. Ever since I have known him he would make his own music videos of him playing along to songs that he loved. He loves many Colorado Local bands. His passion for music is so contagious and I wanted to show the world how awesome he is!”
Growing up in a small town called Las Animas (Spanish for “the souls”), Valdez for a time worked at his grandfather’s mortuary. This experienced colored his songwriting in many ways, particularly on “Ghost,” which is a nod to some “mysterious occurences” he experienced during his time at the mortuary.
“Working in a mortuary with my grandfather gave me an early understanding that certain things do not matter and that you should truly care for those that you love, because we are not built to last,” he said. “This perspective helped to craft what I would like to speak about lyrically. Knowing that we are not meant to last made me really focus on writing things that would last long after I’m gone.”
Not every kid would enjoy working in a mortuary. But while it doesn’t seem like Valdez is a particularly morbid guy, the experience was somthing he loved. He has one particularly ghoulish story to share about his time working there, fittingly chilling for Halloween.
“I loved working at the mortuary,” he said. “I love helping others and thought that for sure I could do this the rest of my life. First of all there are way too many interesting things that have happened to me, I have been working in a mortuary on and off since I was 15. One story always comes up in my mind. I was working the early shift at one of the large mortuaries in Denver and while driving into the cemetery I noticed what appeared to be an elderly man sitting in a yellow folding chair. That sight is not an odd thing in itself. The thing that was strange is that the cemetery grounds are locked and it is 4am. My first thought is that this older man went to sit by a loved one’s grave and fell asleep and froze to death. With that thought in my mind I drove to the main gate and unlocked it and went to where I saw the man. When I arrived he was nowhere to be seen.”
“Ghost” follows his previous single “Saint Munchausen,” which was released in August. Along with the ability to spend more time with his family during the lockdowns resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, he was able to spend more time with the Valdez project and has more music on the way.
“During the beginning of this year I found myself with a lot of time,” he said. “I was digging through old demo tapes and found one that had a few songs on it that sparked my interest. I decided to write a whole record around the two found songs. I have been slowly releasing the songs, “Ghost” being the second release of the record. Hoping to release the rest of the record soon.”