Seeing yellow with indie rockers VALLEY

Toronto-based band talks upcoming Clark show, album 

VALLEY in the music video for the song “Closer to the Picture.”
Screenshot from YouTube.

For VALLEY, being twenty-something is a yellow at an intersection. 

This Friday night, VALLEY will be taking the stage at Clark Hall to share their new music, all inspired by the colour yellow. MAYBE-Side A, the new LP  from VALLEY, is an upbeat exploration of the uncertainty that plagues a new generation of 20-somethings. 

“If you think of a stoplight, you get to that yellow light and you’re driving, and you just stop or you speed up and just go. If we were to sum up our experiences it’s kind of like that,” VALLEY drummer Karah James told The Journal in a phone interview. 

Comprised of Rob Laska on vocals, guitarist Mike Brandolino, Alex DiMauro on bass, and drummer Karah James, the band met by chance. After the studio they individually worked in was double-booked, they were encouraged to play together. 

It clicked.

“We all just bring a completely different vibe to the band and completely different backgrounds,” Laska said.  

Through their different musical backgrounds, they’ve created a blend of sounds, which have contributed to the band gaining significant attention for their 2016 EP, This Room Is White, with over 10 million streams on Spotify. 

Their popular indie pop hit “Swim” drew the most attention. 

However, VALLEY has been working in the studio for the last two years, and they’ve just released the first part to their debut LP, MAYBE. It will be released in three installments, to give it the lifespan it deserves. 

MAYBE-Side A, released on Nov. 23, is brimming with optimism, reflective of their upbeat creative process.

“It’s funny, most of the songs on Side A we wrote in the summertime, in Los Angeles with really nice weather. I find Side A is a really good way for people to ease into this new dynamic and sonic space that we have created. It’s very upbeat,” Laska said.

The album’s songs are a taste of summer on the cusp of December. “We wanted to have something that [people] can still move to and dance to and have a good time to,” Laska said.

As a result, any student will be able to find meaning and relate to the stories on MAYBE-Side A. 

“All the songs have a reoccurring theme of feeling hesitant and kind of unsure 20-something-year-old, like, ‘What now?’ It’s unsettling but also kind of exciting. You don’t have anything to tie you down, it’s kind of like you are in this calm before the storm,” Laska said.

“You can do anything, but it’s unsettling. It’s not black or white, or easy to describe. I think the best way to put that into our music was colour. I guess that colour is yellow for us,” James said. “This feeling of maybe and uncertainty is absolutely relatable to being a 20-something person.”

Maybe it’s fate their show at Clark Hall comes at the end of the semester for students. When Friday comes, students will have a moment of warmth. 

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