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Five Albums That Changed My Life: Syd Duran of Valora

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Featuring the talented and gorgeous Syd Duran on vocals, Valora are poised for big things.

The Southern California group first got international attention when Duran made an appearance on Breaking Benjamin‘s 2011 single, ‘Blow Me Away.’ Signed to Hollywood Records, Valora’s blend of glossy vocal hooks and darkened guitar and keyboard tones is already gaining steam on the Internet without the benefit of a proper album even in stores yet. The group’s ‘I Waited for You‘ single is currently available for download and they also have a cool graphic novel series which you can check out here.

While at home during a break for the holidays, Duran took time out to take part in Noisecreep’s ‘Five Albums That Changed My Life’ series.

‘Grace,’ Jeff Buckley (1994)

“My A&R person bought me this album 4 years ago. He said it was something I needed to own. He couldn’t be more right. I fell in love with Jeff Buckley’s angelic voice. The songs on this album are of a unique style that I feel the late Buckley didn’t get close to completing. There has not been another voice that moves me quite like his does on this album.”

‘Pretenders,’ Pretenders (1980)

“I was 15 when I had my first experience in a recording studio. I listened to this album every day for weeks prior to that day. I basically studied the formula for what I found to be amazing hits executed by my favorite female vocalist, Chrissie Hynde. She commands attention and sings with pure conviction. I learned many lessons from this album, primarily to believe in what I sing.”

‘Greatest Hits,’ Journey (1988)

“This album will always remind me of new found freedom in my first car. I was a late driver, seeing as I didn’t get my license until I graduated high school. I didn’t realize what I was missing out on. When I finally got my first car, I put one CD in the player and didn’t change it for almost a year. When I started driving friends around, somebody eventually asked me “Do you like any other bands besides Journey?” I said “Of course, I do!” It hit me that Journey’s ‘Greatest Hits’ made me feel alive and free. That’s why I never took it out of my car.”

‘10,000 Days,’ Tool (2006)

“I asked for this album for Christmas in 2006. I was too impatient to wait, and partially afraid I wouldn’t get it, so I bought it myself. I ended up with a couple of copies. I expected it to be phenomenal based on everything Tool had released before that. I was more than satisfied after my first listen. I remember setting aside hours just to listen to this album. I felt it was almost disrespectful not to play it all the way through. I had a strange reverence for ‘10,000 Days.’ From then on, I wanted the music that I create to move people to that extent.”

‘Greatest Hits 1990-1999: A Tribute to a Work in Progress…,’ Black Crowes (2000)

“I didn’t understand how much I love Southern rock until I got a hold of this album. This is the kind of music you don’t have to be in the mood for. It really inspired me when I was doing my acoustic rock thing back in high school. My writing style changed a lot after I listened to this album. It definitely helped me to “feel” the music more when I played live too.”

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