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Valleys “Are you Going to Stand There and Talk Weird All Night”


by Caile Donaldson

Well, the first track sure doesn’t grab you by the balls. (But not everybody is looking for that sort of aural, or physical, assault.)

If you like your music sparse enough to give you space to breathe and room enough to put your own feelings into a sound, then Valleys debut album, Are you Going to Stand There and Talk Weird All Night, is probably what you’re looking for (while you lay in bed in the fetal position and hallucinate ghosts swimming by your bedside).

The  Valleys are a Montreal trio, so expect lots of synth and dance beats with melancholy female vocals and keyboards for days. It’s like the National (as far as the male vocals go) meets Beach House.

Bands today are certainly not as unique as snowflakes: Unless they’re timeless, virtuostic trailblazers (and the majority of these electric pop outfits are a far cry from that) the comparisons bleed into each other like wet paper towels. If you’re in an impatient mood, the keyboard pop bands are the last thing you want to bother with.

However, one must draw upon human empathy when one reads that Are you Going to Stand There is the flower that bloomed from family death and relationship devastation within the band. Fair enough. At least through personal pain comes musical creation.

And there are definitely jagged painful elements in this multi-layered first album from Valleys.

With colors of rich greys, smoky blacks bleeding to golds of dawn, long instrumental ponds in tracks like “See the Moon?” make for more of an audio journey. The titles read like a novel or a book of poetry, and with walls of lush, angelic keys shimmering around angry fists of guitars, Are you Going to Stand There begins to move away from the initial stale cud of being just another synth-dance band, to becoming an album of subjective interest.

You’ve got little instrumental guitar bits in”Living Normal”, the fuzzy, distorted anthem “Us”, and an intensely 80’s time warp “John, Meet Me at the Precipice” that sounds like a Genesis cover circa-Phil Collins (no thank you) but all in all, Valleys knows how to rise up and out, taking you with them.

Release date: April 30, 2013

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