After taking his bedroom recordings to the next level with a full band in Jonquil, Oxford-based Hugo Manuel went back to recording as a solo artist under the name Chad Valley. Jonquil signed to Dovecote Records in the U.S. and, around the same time, Manuel leaked a handful of dreamy, Ibiza and R&B-inspired electropop demos to the Web. A flock of sites (including Vice, Pitchfork, and The Guardian) featured Chad Valley's "Up and Down" and "Acker Bilk" in the summer of 2010. Manuel continued to play with Jonquil, and debuted his self-titled Chad Valley EP later that year. In 2011, a second EP, Equatorial Ultravox, was released, followed a year later by his album debut, Young Hunger, which featured a long list of indie A-list collaborators including Twin Shadow, Glasser, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and Active Child.
Chad Valley's follow-up effort, the more introspective Entirely New Blue, arrived in October 2015. Manuel stayed busy over the next year, touring alongside Blackbird Blackbird and Shallou and appearing at Austin's SXSW festival. While Manuel was in Texas in 2016, his van was broken into and his gear and laptop -- containing recordings for an an upcoming album -- were stolen. Undeterred, he finished the tour and returned home to Oxford, where he began working from scratch on his third full-length album. Released in 2018, Imaginary Music featured an '80s-influenced sound, and included the singles "Up Again" and "LA in August." ~ Jason Lymangrover