Minimalist lo-fi folk-based indie rock with a predilection for arching melodies, choral singing and oddly sexual lyrics, Montreal-based Valleys reminds of the Saddle Creek-Omaha sound. As these things go, there is plenty of clumsy charm on a record such as Sometimes Water Kills People, the quartet’s debut album.
But as these bedroom recording projects go, it’s not the most tuneful, and the cracking singing grows wearisome quickly to all but ardent indie folk fans (the instrumentals are quiet good in comparison). The act’s songwriting develops unhurriedly throughout a song—as they aptly say on their MySpace, “quiet to medium in seven minutes”—yet it rarely leads to something worth waiting for.
It feels aged, with a blurry ‘70s beige-ness complemented in the band’s cover art. It may be the case the slightly industrial and electronic elements injected in such nostalgic music count as progress, but Valleys’ amateurish attempt is promising at best.