08.05.2013 — “Dark Tunnel” by Vallens

Vallens (Robyn Phillips)

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Dark Tunnel” by Vallens (2015, from the standalone single)

Vallens is the solo goth-gaze/doomgaze recording project of Toronto’s Robyn Phillips. She’s been hard at work on a debut album, which should be out in the near future via Hand Drawn Dracula. I’m a big fan of what that tiny Toronto label is doing, and when I saw this song in my soundcloud feed, I knew that there was a really good chance that I would like it.

The word is that Phillips is inspired by Portishead, among many other bands. But this is much more ethereal and also more gazey than that. A lot of the stuff that’s written about Vallens references Twin Peaks, but a different reference point that I might use would be Wye Oak. I don’t think that Phillips sings much like Jenn Wasner, but there’s something that makes me think of a darker Wye Oak.

There is a singer who Phillips reminds me very much of, but I can’t quite put a finger on it. What matters more than that, though, is that I like this song very much.

“Dark Tunnel” by Vallens

Throughout the song, but most noticeably in the middle of the song, there’s some phasing and/or flanging effect that I really love. There are a few tricks that suck me in every time. Things like the “Be My Baby” drum bit, a false ending, tom fills, well-placed flanger/phaser. Sometimes, though, there’s such a thing as “too much of a good thing”. I always point out Swervedriver as a band who used way too much phaser/flanger on their Mezcal Head. And for the record, I like that album.

This is a song that should be listened to loudly. And often.

For now, this song is available as a standalone digital single, which you can get here. Whenever the debut album comes out, this song will almost certainly be on it.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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