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April 22, 2024

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Valley of the Giants
Valley of the Giants (Arts&Crafts)

By: Alex Steininger

Featuring members of Broken Social Scene and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Valley of the Giants' have a pedigree that sets the bar high and anticipation higher. But, does their debut full-length deliver on the expectations? It does, and then blows them away.

Nestled into an old cedar farmhouse in Lanark Highlands, Ontario, Canada, Anthony Seck, Brendan Canning, Charles Spearin, Sophie Trudeau, Dierdre Smith, and Raoul Tangeuy, with only one rehearsal under their belts, set out to make a record of, well, giant proportions.

Using a brand new 4-track, Valley of the Giants create a rustic, swirling offering equal parts shoegazer and old country psychedelia. Taking indie-rock into outer space and then back in time, here is a record that defines music that is intimate and direct, but still possesses a full, embodied sound that leans it more towards the lush than sparse camp. It is folk-rock for hipsters who love to get stoned, but even stoned cherish a classic melody, even if it is buried underneath a bed of sonic instrumentation.

The pedigree is apparent in the sound, as Valley of the Giants travel waters both Godspeed and Broken Social Scene have treaded before, but it is the holy combination that provides us the fruit of the experimentation, a record that is as good as its respective parent bands, making this one compelling release that should not be ignored. I'll give it an A.

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