Soundtrack to Night
Are You Going to Stand There and Talk Weird All Night? is the lengthy title of Valleys’ newest album, and such a title can only pique one’s curiosity. This Montreal duo, co-conspirators Marc St. Louis and Tillie Perks, has secured an extensive unification of electronic beats, moody synths and “dra-mantic” his-and-her vocals. The two voices could not be better suited for each other, each one able to deliver its poetry with sensitivity and intention, yet never betraying the atmosphere. A finer balance is not often found.
As you take in the length and breadth of this album, you may find yourself a bit lost on occasion. Each song is impeccably arranged, but many are protracted into soundscapes that would serve well along side any serious cinematic moment and are not quite “easy listening.” Those in the mood for more singable fare might be in over their heads. This does not take away from the sheer artistry of it all, however. The emotional palette is heavy on the bluer hues, resonating both sorrowful and starry-eyed.
All this converges and we discover that the album finds its proper home at night. The difference in the listening experience is striking and something that was likely intended. What might be a good record becomes a great record while you move fast from place to place, the night glimmering all around you. You’re pulled into a feeling, a dream, an emotion as you ponder how life is and how it could have been. It is indeed a soundtrack, one best suited for the dark of night, in all its sentiment and intensity. Valleys have pulled off quite a performance, one that is best assimilated in its proper context. May this night last forever.