Ivan Luketina-Johnston began writing under the name Sal Valentine after falling in love with the music of Ray Charles, and although he wasn’t interested in living an exclusively vintage lifestyle, many of his rst releases re ected his attraction to the nostalgia brought by the music of the past.

After years of earning a place as one of New Zealand’s favourite live acts at festivals and headline shows across the country, the self-professed “idiot jazz child/indie-funk style icon” is ready to start a new chapter with his expanded band in his upcoming album This Party Blows.

The album, which is self-produced by Ivan, and engineered by Jonathan Pearce, has taken over 2.5 years of work, with Ivan opening up his musical scope, becoming in uenced by all manner of genres that he grew up with, and is the most cohesive body of autobiographical work he’s ever put together.

“I suppose my focus became less narrow and more inclusive. A lot of that more experimental music made it's way onto the CHURCH EP, and with that backlog of older, transitional material jettisoned into the void I had room to refine my narrative and my sonic aesthetic. In terms of the artists that informed those choices, it's all over the place. No correlation. The spectrum of what I'm inspired by is so broad - the term 'guilty pleasure' has never really made sense to me."

- Sal Valentine