Manchester Orchestra - Valley Of Vision (Blue Vinyl)

Regular price $ 22.99

There's a feeling on Manchester Orchestra's 2023 EP, The Valley of Vision, that the band has been through some tough times and need to sit with their feelings for a while. It's a cathartic, deeply ruminative vibe that lead singer/songwriter Andy Hull and the Atlanta band have been cultivating since at least 2014's Cope. However, where that album crackled with grayscale emo electric guitar riffage, each subsequent album, from 2017's A Black Mile to the Surface to 2021's The Million Masks of God, has grown increasingly atmospheric, textural, and internalized. Hull and guitarist Robert McDowell brought a similarly subdued palette to their instrumental soundtrack to 2016's indie film Swiss Army Man, layering keyboards, guitars, and wordless vocal harmonies with a painterly precision. The Valley of Vision completes this transition, as they craft six deeply felt songs that feel like they are working through the five stages of grief. These are contemplative anthems in which Hull frames his diaristic lyrics in refracted underwater piano, keyboards, and bass that float like the Northern Lights, and both electronic and analog percussion grooves that percolate like stars at night. It's unclear if The Valley of Vision takes name from rector and theological tutor Arthur Bennet's similarly titled anthology of Puritan prayers and meditations, but even if it isn't, the connection could be made. Tracks like "Capital Karma," "They Way," and "Quietly" feel like prayers spoken by someone with a deep sense of guilt, pain, and a yearning to free themselves from all of it. However, it's not all darkness and just like the process of working through one's grief, there is the promise of hope and healing. The album ends with the epic "Rear View," in which Hull sings "The fire in the rear view is smaller the further we get." The song, as with all of The Valley of Vision, takes you on a journey from solitary confessions made in a dark room to a wailing wall of bright pop catharsis.

1 Capital Karma 3:36
2 The Way 3:55
3 Quietly 4:53
4 Letting Go 3:58
5 Lose You Again 3:42
6 Rear View 5:49