The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

Hudson Woods throws his arms out after a play before getting into position
Hudson Woods climbs to new heights after standout sophomore season
Jonathan Jones, Sports Writer • May 18, 2024
Joshua Velasquez committed to serving his country in the U.S. Army.
Beyond basic
Margaret Edmonson, Adviser • May 17, 2024
Sydney Rakowitz will study education and training and music at the University of Incarnate Word.
Seniors sign to continue athletic, non-athletic careers
Valley Ventana, Staff • May 16, 2024
Boy Scouts of America announced on May 7 the organizations name will change to Scouting America on the organizations 115th birthday Feb. 8, 2025. Photo by JV via
Boy Scouts changing name after 115 years
Grayson Cook, Staff writer • May 15, 2024
The top 15 students in the senior class receive special recognition at graduation on May 22 due to their hard work throughout high school. 
Graphic by Alex Whelchel via Canva
Profile: Top 15 seniors
Alex Whelchel, Managing Editor • May 13, 2024

The top 10 albums of 2023

A look back at the most impressive albums of the year
Still from singer Yves Tumor’s Music Video for “Heaven Surrounds Us Like a Hood.” Directed by Cody Critcheloe, out now on Warp Records.

#10: “10,000 Gecs” by 100 Gecs

Genre: Hyperpop

The accumulation of the carefree fun the band was built on, “10,000 Gecs” doesn’t care about coherency, it cares about getting in, going crazy, and getting out as quickly as possible. Through the wide variety of sounds it tackles, it is impossible to be bored while listening.

Recommended Songs: “Dumbest Girl Alive,” “Doritos & Fritos,” and “The Most Wanted Person In The United States”


#9: “Everyone’s Crushed” by Water From Your Eyes

Genre: Art-Pop

Nate Amos and Rachel Brown’s duo Water From Your Eyes craft the most impressive of their catalog yet, balancing the hectic with the calm. Effortlessly embracing the elements, “Everyone’s Crushed” is one of the most unique and genuine things you will hear this year.

Recommended Songs: “Barley,” “True Life,” and “14”


#8: “Tracey Denim” by bar italia

Genre: Indie Rock

The British indie rockers come together for their most complete batch of tracks yet, taking the sound of 90’s Britpop and mixing it with hypnagogic beauty. It marks a turn for the band from short, disjointed concepts to fully realized, mesmerizing tracks one after another.

Recommended Songs: “punkt,” “Missus Morality,” and “maddington”


#7: “Softscars” by Yeule

Genre: Dream Pop

Yeule’s 3rd album feels the most complete yet, taking on a variety of sounds and doing the most with all of them. Whenever you think you have the album figured out, it throws something new at you, keeping it fresh and exciting while building upon the cyberspace concept it’s built upon.

Recommended Songs: “Sulky Baby,” “dazies,” and “software update”


#6: “Maps” by Billy Woods & Kenny Segal

Genre: Abstract Hip-Hop

Billy Wood’s unlikely approach to Hip-Hop is amplified by Kenny Segal’s beautiful instrumentation on their 2nd collaboration project. “Maps” is filled to the brim with speculative lyrics and dense, jazzy instrumentals, creating one of Wood’s most mysterious and contemplative albums yet.

Recommended Songs: “Soundcheck,” “Babylon By Bus,” and “FaceTime”


#5: “Space Heavy” by King Krule

Genre: Indie-Rock

Archy Marshall’s newest endeavor brings the highlights of his earlier works with newfound maturity. It’s a saccharine, lush project, balancing more joyful tracks with solemn, sadder moments.

Recommended Songs: “Flimsier,” “From The Swamp,” and “Seagirl”


#4: “Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume” by Yves Tumor

Genre: Neo-Psychedelia

One of the most exciting and endlessly relistenable projects of the year, where Yves’ takes the front place as a textbook rockstar. The spacey instrumentals and psychedelic soundscape are some of their most fully realized yet, and it accumulates in endless enjoyability.

Recommended Songs: “Heaven Surrounds Us Like a Hood,” “Echolalia,” and “Ebony Eye”


#3: “Census Designated” by Jane Remover

Genre: Shoegaze

Jane Remover’s sophomore album is a turn to a more mature, noisy sound, and it results in what feels like a window into the future of shoegaze. “Census Designated” is incomparable, a grand feat for Jane and a teaser of what she is capable of, a project that with each listen, becomes more and more impressive.

Recommended Songs: “Lips,” “Holding A Leech,” and “Census Designated”


#2: “Ooh Rap I Ya” by George Clanton

Genre: Chillwave

George Clanton keeps vaporwave alive on the ever nuanced “Ooh Rap I Ya” creating some of the most layered electronic soundscapes of the decade thus far. Blending early 2000’s esc aesthetics with the effortlessly cool sound of the New York scene in what is to become a near vaporwave classic.

Recommended Songs: “Everything I Want,” “Justify Your Life,” and “I Been Young”


#1: “Javelin” by Sufjan Stevens

Genre: Indie Folk

There aren’t enough words in the world for me to correctly word my praise for Sufjan Stevens’ newest album. A gut-wrenching and deeply meaningful look into how Sufjan has been coping with the loss of his partner Evans Richardson, “Javelin” deals with death in a way that makes grieving seem beautiful. It’s another masterful work for an artist that doesn’t seem to get a break, channeling his intense sadness into something beautiful and everlasting.

Recommended Songs: “Goodbye Evergreen,” “Will Anybody Ever Love Me?,” and “So You Are Tired”

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