VALLEY (Michael Brandolino, Rob Laska, Karah James, Alex DiMauro) is a pop band from Toronto whose ambitions are even bigger than their sound. Forged from two bands who were accidentally double-booked for studio time, the born-and-raised Canadians seized the opportunity in disguise and began developing what would ultimately become one of the most refreshing, engaging, and promising new bands of the decade. Lead vocalist Rob Laska answered a few questions about the band, their new single 'Closer To The Picture' and much more!
Closer To The Picture is a look into an evolved sound for Valley, what does the song mean to you?
Closer to the Picture definitely explores the ideas of social expectance but also finding it hard to drown out the noise, being an outcast in a any form of social situation. Itt’s a super special song for us and its background comes from a very honest place. When writing it with Andy Seltzer (our producer) we really wanted to pair up the upbeat/quirky feel with a topic that was much more serious. The juxtaposition sonically pairs really well with the sentiment of the song.
What was the point to have the party restart and include different party stereotypes in the music video? How did the idea come about?
I think when building and writing the treatment with our team, we wanted to throw in personalities that we’ve all experienced ourselves or have hid behind at some point to fit in or have witnessed around us. It’s throwing “labels around” but not through a negative lens- more so through a defining lens to better understand the process of existing in a party and being super anxious while floating through a a variety of different people and their quirks. The party restarting every time we thought was a very solid way to put a period to each interaction.
In This Room Is White you can hear a bit of a country music influence, is that something that will be heard in the new music?
We’ve actually never gotten that before but genuinely glad you brought it up! There’s so much going on in country music and we definitely throw some on from time to time. What we really look up to in country music is the melodies and vocal performances and lots of country music sonically sounds amazing. So many amazing players. I don’t think we directly pulled inspiration for This Room is White from a lot of country music but definitely a lot of cross over country records (to our ears) like Kacey Musgraves and Marren Morris exist on our playlists!
Who are some of your pop music inspirations/who are some artists you’re listening to right now?
So many! Changes every day for us really. I guess to just list off some names... loving LANY, Maggie Rogers new tunes are amazing!, this band that we love called Dizzy just put out a record called 'Baby Teeth' and it’s amazing, loving Kacey Musgraves latest record, oh and VOICENOTES BY CHARLIE PUTH- the pop album of the year. Hands down.
You played at Avril Night with The Beaches, The Elwins and other Toronto bands, how was that experience? How would you describe the friendship between bands in the Toronto music scene?
That night was honestly such a cool experience and probably the first time we’ve ever done like a collaborative Toronto event with so many local artists. We were super stoked when The Beaches asked us to join the lineup for such an amazing cause given that we all grew up on Avrils records-it was a legit no brainer!! Toronto is very special with its artists and bands. It’s very community based, collaborative and not very exclusive. Everyone supports each other from the sidelines no matter what point of your career you are at, what you sound like, what you look like, what you define yourself as - it really comes down to people building community around the music which we always say is most important.
What is one thing you want to accomplish as a band? What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
There’s definitely a lot we’re looking forward to and lots we are working hard to achieve with our team. I think a next step is to do a North American tour. Whether it’s us opening for an artist/band or some smaller headline dates- we wanna go play for anyone who’s a fan of our music in every state and province! Beyond touring, we are putting out our debut album “Maybe”, shooting videos and just working on writing more music and collaborating with more people. Making music with strangers who become your best friends is the best feeling in the world.
Listen to VALLEY HERE