Valleyheart – The Numbers

In the last few years since their 2017 debut, Valleyheart has appeared on a number of lists with titles like Unsigned Bands You Should Know About. But anyone who heard them or saw them didn’t need some online publication telling them that. It was obvious from the lush arrangements and Kevin Klein’s earnest songwriting that they had It.

But now, Valleyheart is no longer eligible for such lists, having signed with iconic label Tooth & Nail Records. “The Numbers,” the first single from the upcoming Heal My Head LP, demonstrates exactly what makes the group so special—and why they’re such a great choice for the Tooth & Nail roster.

The song opens with an energetic riff that gives way to a delicate verse, Klein’s voice accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. A tom-driven drum beat and chunky power chords build the song up to a jangling prechorus that bursts to an emotive chorus that finds Klein ruminating on the purpose of our obsessions with busyness and ambition: “I have time but I can’t tell If I use and wear it well. Am I just an ocean in the sun? High on the crest of a busy drug?”

From there, the song takes an unexpected detour into a spacy bridge that expands the sonic palette with swelling strings. The production of the track is already lush up to this point, multitracked guitars and auxiliary percussion tastefully filling the space, but the strings elevate the song even further without sounding too polished. The strings stay in through the final refrains, bringing it to an epic climax.

Throughout the track, there are I’m reminded of past T&N bands that influenced much of my music taste: the atmospheric post-hardcore of As Cities Burn’s non-screamy albums, the emotive pop hooks of Waking Ashland, the intricate arrangements of Mae…Depending on who you ask, these were all on the roster after the label’s heyday, but they left an indelible mark on the scene, and I know I’m not the only person for whom Songs For the Penalty Box, vol 5 was more important than Volume 2.

More importantly, it’s clear from both the high level production and the great music video (somebody tell that guy that 5/6 numbers still gets a pretty big prize) that Tooth & Nail is confident that Valleyheart is the type of band that could mean just as much to new listeners. Considering Valleyheart alongside recent signings like idle threat, Salt Creek, and Tigerwine, the label seems like they’re poised to enter another golden age in its history. And if “The Numbers” is any indication of what’s to come with Heal My Head, Valleyheart is absolutely a deserving heir to that legacy.

Heal My Head is out June 3rd through Tooth & Nail Records.

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