There’s an indie-band in Toronto named Valley. The group is composed of Mike Brandolino (Guitar), Rob Laska (Vocals), Karah James (Drums) and Alex DiMauro (Bass). The group’s most recent release came two years ago in the form of This Room Is White, but now they're back and working on the release of their full-length debut album.

Earlier this month, they released a new single called 'Closer To The Picture' and have now released the accompanying music video. Before the release of the video, I got to chat with two members of the group (Karah and Mike) about Valley's beginning, how they built up chemistry together, the process behind their EP, the new single and their forthcoming album.

The band will hit the road next month to play a number of University Campuses across Ontario.

Music Video Concept Notes From The Directors (Mark Smith and Jordan Davies): "The concept that the band had created was putting the audience in the shoes of the introvert of the party. Basically, the kind of person who hangs out in the corner with the dog while others are getting drunk and making fools of themselves. Many of our visual references came from films set in the early 2000’s like Perks of Being a Wallflower, Lady Bird and The Rules of Attraction."

So, I know you guys met in a recording studio when your sessions got double booked, can you explain the story about that?

Karah: Yeah in the beginning it was kind of funny. So, Mike and I were working on a project and Rob and Alex were in the live room of the studio and we were in the control room. And at first it was kind of something out of a comedy. Mike and I were in the control room watching through this window, like these two other guys setting up guitars and getting mic placements and other stuff and Mike and I were like who are these people coming into our session? So, it was kind of funny our first reaction in the first 20 minutes or so being in same proximity, all of this happening, then we realized we were double booked, but at first it was confusing. After that, we finally met them and I don’t know, Mike and I never really met people like them before, like everyone we knew in our high school wasn’t into music as much as we were. So, I think it was hard for us to connect with people musically at our high school in the way we wanted too, so when we met Rob and Alex we thought they were super cool.

Now in the beginning when you guys were recording for the time together as a group, how was it sounding?

Mike: Yeah, I think it was really awesome. I think for Rob and Alex, we were the missing puzzles for them because I at the time was studying audio engineering and production, Alex and Rob went to study it as well, but at the time I was the only one who knew recording stuff and they were trying to figure that out, so I filled that void and like Karah is like an amazing drummer and they didn’t have a great drummer. And they brought a lot of different sounds that Karah and I never experimented with and Rob’s really great at arranging guitar parts and in his harmonies and his vocals are beautiful, so everything that was brought to the table was something we were all missing. So, in the beginning it was really awesome and fun because we were all learning from each other.

So, let’s talk about This Room Is White, how was the process behind crafting that?

Karah: We didn’t write a lot of songs for the project, we had about 10 demos and then we put 6 songs on and 3 transitions tracks on and like it was still, I don’t know I think we were still trying to figure it out, like we weren’t really sure how to do what we were doing, we just knew what we heard in our heads and we were just pretty much figuring out how to do it. I think the song 'Swim' was a big one for us, I remember sitting in Mike’s basement where we do all of our recordings, and Rob had this acoustic guitar and he was like casually saying I wrote a song and we were like alright show it and he was all shy about it and we all kept egging him on and he started singing 'Swim'. And we were all like what is this? And we all realized it was something special. And as well, most of the songs on the EP came from all the stuff we had learned in our lives up until that point, so like we had this discourse of what we knew and that was it. Also, another song 'Say', we did this production piece on the record, but it wasn’t traditional, like traditional for us, we had a break in between verses, but we just realized we were putting ourselves in a box at the very end of the creation of the project.

Mike: And I think it was a really big change for us around that time, because we realized the songs that we kind of didn’t put in a box, like we also went back after to kind of realizing what people were saying and tweaking songs as well and we let the songs be what they were without putting a genre on it and I think it showed because these songs had the best response from fans. So that was a good confidence boost to do whatever you want to do as an artist as opposed to putting yourself in a box. And I think that’s partially how we discovered our sound, being genre-less.

Now you guys recently released a new single, 'Closer to the picture'. Can you talk about how it came about, and how your forthcoming debut album is coming along?

Mike: Yeah before we released This Room Is White and since then have just been writing and writing and writing and I think we went through a big change after releasing the project. We actually recorded so many songs, that we didn’t end up using and we love all the songs it’s just a matter of putting it all together and creating something cohesive to make it an album. And for 'Closer to the picture' we went on a writing trip to LA and New York and while we were there, we ended up writing the record on the trip with this guy named Andy Seltzer who went on to co-produce the whole record for us. And we really felt like the new single would be a good introduction to the new Valley because it gets to the point very quickly and it’s a jam. It feels good right away and with the last release we did it was ambient and slow and we wanted to come back with a bang. We’re changing, we’re growing, here we are.