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.