August Brings a Rich Harvest with “Peaches” from In the Valley Below

1 Aug

Vocalist Angela Gail grew up in cold, damp Michigan. Guitarist and vocalist Jeffrey Jacob was raised in the great music city of Memphis, Tennessee. By various circuitous routes, Gail and Jacob each separately made their way to the Los Angeles music scene and once there, happened to meet.
Other than having two first names, what did Gail and Jacob have in common?
The two both have a way of telling compelling boy/girl stories through songs that vary from brooding and eerie to boisterous and bouncy. They clicked almost immediately and began feeding off one another to carve a place for themselves in the competitive L.A. musical landscape and attract a real following worldwide for their unique brand of synth folk-rock and power pop.
Out of that came the EP appropriately entitled Man Girl. The EP features four songs by the duo — plus two chill remixes of the single and highlight of the album, “Peaches.”
The Man Girl EP starts with the above-mentioned “Peaches,” a synth folk-rock number that could be by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, but with some additional synth stylings that are unique to In the Valley Below. The lyrics are charged with sexual energy, with the languid vocals by Gail and Jacob that play so perfectly off one another sounding like they were recorded by lovers basking in the afterglow. (Gail and Jacob are not a couple as far as I know.)
The second track is “Hymnal,” which is also the focus of the band’s most recent video. It’s mysterious psych-rock — with jangly guitar, bells and waves of synth music and effects washing over everything.
“Take Me Back,” the fourth track on the album, relies on a synth rhythm track to drive a mid-tempo ballad with soaring, rich harmonies, and spacey squiggles in the lead breaks.
As for the remixes, these are really excellent, with the first of the two being my favorite. “Peaches (Kele Remix)” is based on a syncopated, trip-hop beat that completely transforms the feeling of the original. The vocals are sampled and looped over the mesmerizing rhythm track to create an extended, 7-minute-long club dance track.
If you haven’t heard of In the Valley Below, the Man Girl EP is a great introduction. Word is, the duo is already working on a new album. So grabbing this EP now will give you a taste of the band before their full-length album drop-ships.

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