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  Behind the Backs of Houses
  Hanging Valleys
  Pedro Y El Lobo  
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Hanging Valleys are a guitar duo that make hushed folk pop that is so mellow and fuzzed out that it sounds almost ambient. As i listen to this EP i hear echoes of Auburn Lull, Benoit Pirouard, and The Blue Nile. There is a certain relaxed calmness to the falsetto vocals, the light guitars, and the synthesized stringy haze that envelops these songs.

Greeting the Night kicks things off with the steady thump of a beat, like a car going over the seams in a highway bridge, that kind of monotonous repeated beat. Specifically, this beat reminds me of the elevated portion of I-85 through Dekalb County in Atlanta, the part between where it splits off of the connector but before GA-400. There is a beat that you get going over the seams in the elevated highway, and that is what i hear in the beat of this song. Over this the voice sings a hushed falsetto and guitars whine and blur. It's lovely and set the stage for the next 25 or so minutes of listening.

The Shining Mountain adds in a piano rumbling to that hushed voice, as well as a faint bass rumble. The drum here is an echoed hit, the stick flat against the snare and echoed to hell and back. This whole song is steeped in a deep echo, which gives it a dreamy, unreal feeling. Is this music really happening or am i imagining it? The drum and the way the piano washes over everything remind me of The Blue Nile. The voice is very different than Paul Buchanan, but there is a hint.

First Light rings prettily and is also vaguely noisy, a distortion in the ringing. The beat here is a clicked drum stick on the rim of the snare, that sharp shocking sound. That beat and the slight hint of distortion make me think of Auburn Lull in their Alone I Admire era. I love the way the whole song slowly swells into a subtle rumble, layers of sound ringing and cascading off one another.

Sleeping Sound is one of the more subtle songs here, mostly just his voice, the guitars, and some sort of whirring sound.

And finally the EP ends with title track. About midway though a deep bass rumble moves in, like a storm against his tranquil voice. It's a lovely effect.

And this whole EP is, in fact, rather lovely. Hanging Valleys have created some pretty, very mellow ambient folk. There is lots to like here.

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