From its inception, Valleys has been always changing. From the quiet and exploratory preliminary years to the stormy experimentation of recent works, the duo has always had one foot in the pop realm and the other in the dirt. Are You Going To.? is the result of a year's worth of writing through unexpected loss and spiritual recovery. Working with meditative and spatial elements, Valleys aims to blur the lines between noise, melody, repetition and space results in a dark, mysterious and cinematic quality to their sound.
Montreal duo Valleys poses an important question: Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night? Or, maybe they just spent too many late nights working in bars.
Longtime collaborators Marc St Louis and Matilda (Tillie) Perks make up the Montreal based duo Valleys. A two-piece, where the roles of each member are not clearly defined, Valleys has two lyricists, two vocalists and two skilled musicians with Marc playing guitar, keyboards, drums and Tillie playing keys, guitar, sequencer. Both take turns on lead and sometimes share vocal duties, where his baritone pairs sweetly with her soft approach. Though a twosome, their sound is big, loud, alive and visceral.
Taking inspiration from their recent experience scoring a Belgian film, Valleys has designed a new dark, mysterious, and cinematic sound for what Marc and Tillie consider their debut album. Unlike sound tracking a film, however, Are You Going To.? is deeply rooted in their personal lives. And it's been one bad year at that.
Running parallel lives, Marc and Tillie each experienced great loss and turned to their music and poetry to cope. For Tillie, her lyrics reflect the unexpected loss of close family members. Raised as a Shambhala Buddhist, her lyrics are riddled with references to the practices and ideas of Shambhala. Though dealing with weighty events, Tillie infuses her spirituality into the music which has resulted in an added lightness that gives off a sense of healing ("Hounds"), an astounding sense of calm ("Before Fall"), and an outright mystical quality ("Exing Everything").
For Marc, dealing with the loss of a different type of relationship, his lyrics touch on a twisted coming of age and late night hedonism. His lyrics focus on creating scenes for characters dealing with disillusionment and heartbreak. However, Marc points out, "This is almost always counterbalanced with a certain elation that comes with recognizing the absurdity of the situation" ("See the Moon?").
Though tackling cheerless subjects, Are You Going To.? comprises the funnest, sad music you'll ever hear. Using melody, repetition, and space to invoke spirituality, Valleys creates a sometimes dark, but joyful sound. From the outset ("Micromoving"), the record compels you to dance again, takes you through heartbreak, only to end up with the realization that no matter how bad you want to, you can't "Undream A Year".
Recorded and co-produced by Alec "Orson Presence" Dippie from the legendary British post punk group The Monochrome Set, "Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night?" was released on Kanine Records April 30th, 2013.