Valley Maker is the project of Seattle based musician, singer-songwriter Austin Crane who released his debut album in his final year of school back in 2010. In the interim Valley Maker has developed in numbers to offer a, not surprisingly, larger sound. This, alongside the addition of Amy Godwin’s vocals give an overall assuredness to their new offerings. Those echoing harmonies on the likes of ‘Goodness‘ create if anything a feeling of space, a vastness which accentuates Crane’s articulated plea of “don’t you go away”. Whilst this sad refrain summons the end of the album it’s opened to an equally moving song: By My Side (Everlasting Life), a song of love and loss which ends with a ticking like percussion marking the onward movement of time as Crane sings “and as I watch those days go by”.
The interplay between Amy and Crane is a real highlight and an important one. They sound like an evolving duo no more so than on ‘Only Time’. They’re perfectly matched…vocally and musically everything has gelled on this album. Lyrically Crane approached this album very differently as stated in the notes: ‘It is a departure lyrically from the more linear mythology narratives of the first release and leans instead of sequences of elegy and affection, a strange pairing that yields powerful songs.’ He’s clearly very content with the results and I can understand why….this is a great album and I’m personally looking forward to hearing more. A name to watch for 2014.