The album was mixed in North Carolina by Scott Solter, who has recorded and mixed an eclectic array of artists including The Mountain Goats, Superchunk, St Vincent and his own avant garde / ambient projects such as Boxharp and The Balustrade Ensemble. Scott was the perfect choice to bring together the diverse elements and different ideas explored in this set of songs, honouring each song’s direction while bringing them all together as an album.
The maturity and poise of Andrew Bower’s songwriting provides the canvas for the band to layer sparkling guitars, fuzz-laden riffs, cascading melodies and a weighty and fluent rhythm section. There’s a muscularity to the music but one that’s equally tempered by sensitivity and, at various times, a dreamy sway or a surge of electricity.
The strength of the album lies in the way the band imbue the songs with their various international influences, seamlessly blending and embedding them in the songs. There’s the sound of Brisbane in the 70s and 80s, the textural shoegaze side of UK indie in the 90s, the literate jangle and fuzz of some of the New Zealand Flying Nun bands, the rhythm and drive of Melbourne’s Underground Lovers and the nuanced guitar sounds of US college rock.
Even as the band’s lives change and the world around them changes even more, The Valery Trails continue to strive towards their goal to build a body of work on their own terms.
The Valery Trails are:
Andrew Bower – Guitars/Vocals/Keyboards
Sean Bower – Bass
Dan McNaulty – Drums/Percussion
Tim Steward – Guitars/Vocals
Skye Staniford – Vocals
Terminus Horns – Horn Section
Filip Magnusson – Strings
Recorded by Darek Mudge
Additional Recording by Andrew Bower
Mixed by Scott Solter
Mastered by Scott Craggs
Album Artwork by Tim Steward. Cover photo by Andrew Bower