From Melbourne Australia, alt-rock band The Valley Ends have released the debut single off their upcoming album Hearth, titled “Dark Emu.” Made up of Blake Drenth, Tim D’Agostino, Rich Hebden, Dylan Smith, and Stefan Frederic, The Valley Ends are looking to build on the diverse landscape of sounds that they explored in their concept EP, Falls in 2014. Featuring a rather unique sound as well as a good amount of creativity, “Dark Emu” is a promising preview of whats to come in the album, also showing off their dynamic and slightlier heavier sound adjustments. It is also accompanied by a music video for the track, which was directed, shot, and edited by Tom Lock.
“Dark Emu” almost has a part one and two to it, as the first half of the track is much softer than the second. The first half of the song involves mesmerising instrumentals and atmospheric echoing vocals. The instrumentals really draw you in, and make you feel like you are in your own world. They take you out of the song and make you feel as if you are floating, propped up by the soothing yet upbeat guitars, and propelled forward by the soft melodic vocals.
The second half comes in after a short break, which is filled with ambience and gives you a second to process what you have just heard. It certainly changes the tone here, taking on a darker sound as the guitars darken the tone of the song by deepening in sound and upping the pace a little. The vocals become a little bit less distancing, and it is as if they have suddenly moved closer to you as to increase the hard hittingness of the song. From there it doesn’t let up as the whole rest of the song comes at you pretty fast, as if it is all in one breath and you truly feel as if you don’t get a chance to breathe in the last minute or so.
“We create so we don’t forget, our dreams and ambitions, our sacred traditions.”
Lyrically, vocalist Tim says the track speaks of themes of lost knowledge, feelings of helplessness, and the intrinsic need for community. I interpret the lyrics to be about trying to escape the past, which possibly may refer to people trying to escape the horrors that are Australian history in regards to racial mistreatment. This may be what it refers to, as vocalist Tim says the title itself comes from a powerful book he read, based on the history and culture of pre-colonialist Australia. It also speaks of trying to maintain traditions, and not forget what has happened in the past, even if it is awful, and to take that and grow from it.
The Valley Ends will be launching the single on May 11, at The Curtin in Melbourne, where they will be supported by Dr Sinhas Jazz Lobotomy, Slow Talk, and Cold Tide. Listen to “Dark Emu” now on all streaming services, and check out the music video here: