The Valley Ends level up with solid debut LP, ‘Hearth.’
[PC: Lachlan Monty.]
Melbourne’s The Valley Ends are back today with a pre-release stream of their satisfying, consistent first full-length, ‘Hearth.’ All written, performed and produced by The Valley Ends, this LP is a more cohesive listen than their first EP, 2014’s ‘Falls‘; the bulwark of their progressive/alt-rock sound has been smoothed out and tightened up significantly. It’s a bigger release, through and through. Not just in the length and amount of tracks, but in the expanded melodies, the larger production, and the wider musical scope of the record too. Opener ‘Aeons‘ and it’s foreboding string accompaniment confirms this in less than three minutes. Comparisons to Dance Gavin Dance and Circa Survive will be common here, but this definitely the the band really levelling up as both composers and performers; stepping into their own more so.
‘Hearth‘ is grand and spacier in mood, but also earthier and rich in tone and feel, creating this killer push-and-pull dynamic that the record upholds right until mournful closer ‘Enso‘ comes to take things on home. Recorded, mixed and mastered by the bands own guitarist, Blake Drenth, this new 13-track release has been a long time in the pipeline for the Australian quintet. Yet it’s been well worth the wait, I’d argue. Hell, I wouldn’t have done this premiere if I thought otherwise!
With wonderful guitar chord voicings, tension-release harmonies, colourful licks, better refined hooks, dense instrumental layers, Tim D’Agostino’s floating falsetto vocal range, and engrossing reverberant textures make this one seriously engaging listen. It’s a record that’s at times jazzy and mathy, yet always beautiful and serene in nature too. It’s just one of those lovely comforting albums that’s easy to become lost within. Keep a close eye out for my personal favourite cuts: ‘Embers‘, ‘Straylight‘, ‘Dark Emu‘, ‘Aeons‘, ‘1835,’ and ‘Wildfire.’
Stream/download ‘Hearth‘ before it’s officially released everywhere on July 28th:
Catch The Valley Ends at the following dates: