Clues are often found everywhere you look; such is the nature of my holistic mindset. The fact that in an age where minimalism is king, where packaging and presentation are often peripheral thoughts especially when sending a record off to a backwater reviewer like myself, the fact that Rogue Valley’s latest release arrives in full 8-sided digipack, lyrically inscribed to the hilt and with a backdrop of sumptuous artwork says something about the band. And as such an attitude suggests, the music found within shows an equally wonderful attention to detail and musical modus operandi. ‘scuse the cod Latin.
What I’m still trying to fathom out is how Rogue Valley manage to sound both bucolic and anthemic at the same time. How can songs which seem to be pastoral and sonorous lullabies through one ear suddenly sound like they are the most rousing of folk charges or cosmic rock noodling’s just by changing the way that you as a listener approach them.
Take Loom for example, a heavenly choir which evolves into the sweetest west coast pop vibe before heading off into a tequila washed, Mariachi fuelled beach party, and you never once question its mood swings. I guess if it was that easy everyone would be doing it, but as long as they keep doing it then I will remain a happy man. Keep putting songs together made up of ideas which don’t belong in the same band let alone in the same bar, mutually exclusive musical musings which not only unexpectedly hold together but seem to create a sound requiring a whole bunch of new labels to be applied.
How has a band which ticks so many of my personal musical boxes, makes such cosmic Americana, dreaming pop-rock, such challenging and experimental musical fusions remained off of my radar for so long? Well, at least I’m on the case now, so I’m off to open a bottle of wine, sit in the garden, look at the night sky and soak in these amazing sounds. See you all in the morning.