Valley Make a Sonic and Emotional Breakthrough on 'Last Birthday'
Photo: Becca Hamel
Valley is a band built on breakthroughs. The Juno nominated, alternative pop act is comprised of four best friends in the midst of coming-of-age, navigating life and music in real-time. The result is a musical evolution that feels wholly natural, seeping into every lyric with the heartfelt sincerity of a simple yet life-defining revelation. And with their latest EP, Last Birthday, Valley continue to grow, evolve, and love.
Last Birthday follows the release of their previous EP, 2020's sucks to see you doing better, which was released in the height of the pandemic, at a time of unprecedented uncertainty. Contrasting the two EPs the band adds, "both EPs personally represent our growth as best friends, navigating being in a band while dealing with real life shit. If the sucks to see you doing better EP was a person, they'd be wearing compassion, heartbreak and mental health on their sleeve. Last Birthday is another perspective on those same feelings with a few breakthroughs. Analyzing our past from the other side of the glass."
Last Birthday fittingly then plays out with all the infectious euphoria of someone reaching emotional clarity. Where other projects may be more akin to sonic therapy, exploring trauma in the moment, Valley crafts a seven-song collection rife with insight into the self and how we explore the concept of love. "Last Birthday is about unconditional love whether it's romantic or platonic. We all have that person in our life that we would pick up at the airport at 4am without hesitation. The person that could sleep on your couch when times are tough. Maybe you don't have to speak every day, or distance keeps you apart... regardless, they are a constant in your life until your last birthday," shares Valley.
The Truman Show-referencing "Can We Make It (Jim Carey)" arrives as a particular standout moment, examining the difficulty of attempting to help someone who simply isn't ready to accept help. "The world doesn't have to be so scary / Help me help you help me get some clarity," pleas Valley against an iridescent soundscape that betrays the track's more melancholic intentions. It's a bittersweet moment that marks a noted maturation for Valley, showcasing an impressive lyrical nuance and dynamic sense of musicality.
Indeed, Last Birthday is not just a thematic breakthrough for Valley but a sonic one as well. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the EP's closer, "Tempo," which sees the band quite literally changing up the tempo, jumping headfirst into a dance-inducing sonic departure that is nothing short of intoxicating. Demonstrating an enviable sonic and emotional growth in each of its loosely connected seven tracks, Last Birthday culminates as a rapturous step forward for Valley.
Listen to Last Birthday below: