9th September 2015 – Version Studio Records
03. Dream Shooter, Golden
04. Picture Puzzle Pattern Door
In a world where music becomes ever more complex, contrived and at the same time vapid, when something comes along that is vast yet simplistic and elegant, it simply begs to be heard and consumed. This is exactly the case with Sunburst, the debut EP from Stockholm’s Valley.
Over its thirty minute play time, Sunburst emblazons vast soundscapes, birthed from a mix of shoegaze, post-rock and progressive depth. Its four tracks breathe a sigh of enraptured, melancholic pensiveness that despite its simplistic approach, manages to sound dynamic and hypnotic with the help of crystal clear production.
Opener “Tunguska” comes into life in a seemingly delicate manner; a first burst of sunlight coming over the mountains. The feeling is natural and calm, so despite the track sharing its name with a meteor explosion in Northern Russia in 1908, it feels less frantic than you’d imagine; its bright guitar lines are backed up by mass reverberation, with consistent and really quite groove-filled drums.
The bass-driven “Kiro” gives way to the “Dream Shooter, Golden” a boundless, meandering shoegazer that flows both freely and effortlessly. This natural progression conjures images of floating down a river; your body being carried until you meet the sea, with the blue sky above and the sun shining down. This track in particular holds its own spectacularly, with each note sounding huge on its own yet becoming more than the sum of it parts in symphony with each other.
Final track “Picture Puzzle Pattern Door” is a ten minute trip into enlightenment and self-growth. This psychedelic journey melds a post-rock and shoegaze backing with a Pink Floyd-esque progressive lead. Its bluesy and soulful guitars speak throughout, with organs adding emphasis to the delicate shimmers. There’s also a cut-up spoken word piece that talks of harmony and human consciousness from the perspective of someone on a hallucinogenic trip, which adds further depth and slight variation to this otherwise completely instrumental EP.
Valley have that rare quality where they take the most simple of structures and build them into something vast and delicate. This depth adds meaning into their warm and engaging music. Whilst on the surface Sunburst is both relaxing and tranquil, it carries within it a layer of intelligence that demands more from the listener. A sunburst is defined as “a sudden brief appearance of the full sun from behind clouds.” and that couldn’t sum up better the listening experience of this EP.