You know what's the best thing about loving music? I know that old people and folks without discerning ears complain about how "music all sounds the same" today but that couldn't be further from the truth. To the extent that anything can be truly infinite, the possibilities for sound are infinite. There is such a wealth of instruments and voices and notes and combinations of the three means that the sky is quite literally the limit. And on their new single, "Charlie Gray," Dallas, Texas rockers Valise
have crafted a track that captures the infinite possibilities of contemporary rock that still exist if you're willing to push yourself.
Trading in garage, electronic influences, and massive pop warmth, Valise take familiar sounds and warp them into something familiar but invitingly alien as well. And their lyrics are as complex as their sonics, dealing in that mix of hope and despair about what happens when good memories come to an end and the nostalgia and loss inherent with the death of a loved one.
Check out the video for "Charlie Gray" below as well as our Q&A with the band and snag the group's LP, Young Bloomer
, which is out now.
The video for "Charlie Gray" seems to intentionally create this fluid relationship between friendship and romance? What were you all trying to accomplish with the video for the track?
You're in the ballpark, yeah. I feel like the video could easily be some happy-go-lucky rom-com footage without the song attached to it, but that's exactly the kind of contrast we set out to create. The song is about loss, and what it's like trying to cope and move forward when you lose somebody close to you. The video, however, is a collection of happy memories, basically what would flash before your eyes right before your relationship dies.
There are no references to an actual "Charlie Gray" in the song's lyrics. Is there a more esoteric reason for the song's title?
It's sort of an homage to my adopted brother who passed away due to kidney disease before we started the record. His name before he left the foster home was Charles.
I'm having a hard time putting an exact finger on your sound. There are elements of garage-y reverb. You have some electronic elements to the warping of the vocals. There are pop-rock hooks and melodies. Who were the artists that influenced you as performers and songwriters?
I think we'd all take that as a compliment, actually. That's what we're going for! We each brought so many ideas and influences into the studio, and we tried as hard as we could to allow everything to find it's place on the album. Limiting ourselves and settling into a specific sub-genre of indie-rock would have just turned out a boring record. We were happy to stitch together all our influences and let the album be our little Frankenstein. Inspiration came from some of our indie favorites like The National, Grizzly Bear, Phoenix, Washed Out and Stars, but we left a bit of room for some classic big hitters like Muse and Coldplay as well. Happy to hear that wide range comes through in the finished product.
You guys will be going out on tour with Macy Gray starting next month. How did that get set up?
These types of things are always so unpredictable when you're a young band, and we owe a lot to our agent, Eva w/ FATA Booking, for setting it up. We were absolutely honored when the opportunity landed on our door step to tour with a Grammy-winning artist like Macy. She may not be the first artist people think of when considering who we would tour with, and I think that's exactly what we loved about it. It gets old, going to shows where you're basically watching the same band three or four times. We wanted to shake things up a bit, but still play alongside somebody we respected, and that's Macy. Her voice is truly one of a kind, and she's kept her style fresh and constantly evolving over the past fifteen years. That's something every artist should aspire to.
For folks who dig this track, what can they expect when they listen to your debut album Young Bloomer?
Hopefully they'll hear how passionate we are about making music. We put a lot of work into crafting a unique sound for each track, and I think listeners with a sharp-ear will really enjoy hearing everything the record has to offer. Check out Young Bloomer
anywhere music is sold, streamed, or stolen!