In The Valley Below Featured

I went to SXSW this year and saw thirty bands total. I had heard or researched a majority of those 30 bands before attending the Austin festival and came prepared with a list of artists I knew I wanted to see. I created a “safe” zone, if you will.

But I also went to SXSW without expectations, unsure if I would even get into any of the showcases I had planned for — especially those boasting bigger names. On the Wednesday of the festival, I attended a showcase with only one band that I recognized on its lineup. While all four live acts in the showcase were pretty good, one band that I had no idea existed before that day impressed me so much that I deemed them the best surprise of SXSW this year. They went by the name In The Valley Below.

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Photo by David Fisch

This male and female duo is based in Echo Park, though I wouldn’t have guessed that given their stage presence. Based on their promotional picture and the photo I took myself (seen above), I originally thought they emerged from a sepia-toned photograph taken while out on the Oregon Trail and were staying a spell in each town they visited before continuing on their way out West. I was honestly expecting to hear music of that nature.

But how wrong I was to judge them so quickly! The moment I heard the dark, bassy textures and dreamy synths rise with Angela Gail and Jeffrey Jacob’s harmonic vocals on tracks like “Palm Tree Fire” or “Peaches,” I was immediately overwhelmed with their grandeur to the point that I got shivers down my spine. Their sound was large and encompassing, taking over the Lustre Pearl on Rainey Street as if it were a stadium filled with thousands of fans.

In The Valley Below’s set and sound left me stunned and caught me so off-guard that day at SXSW that I couldn’t believe I had just made myself a new (and possibly favorite) discovery. Their duets and structures are unique to the synth-pop genre, and while they don’t have a full-length record out just yet, they will be releasing a Hymnal EP on April 1st from Oskar Recordings. Their studio recordings contain similar instrumental and effectual accents that their live renditions offer — perhaps more refined — and I couldn’t be happier with the output. Look out for their name again throughout the rest of the year!

For more info:

In The Valley Below Official Website