City: Toronto
Country: Canada
Genre: Alternative
Styles: Electronic, Post-Punk, Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Dream-Punk, Gothic-Electronic-Rock
on since March 19, 2021


The most fascinating and lasting artists to trip across the vast field we know as popular music are the ones who consistently allow us to ride shotgun along with them as they figure out who they are as artists. Vallens are moving along such rarified lines. On In Era, their 2nd full length LP, vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Robyn Phillips and the stable Vallens core of bassist/multi-instrumentalist Devon Henderson and drummer Colin J. Morgan are growing more confidently defined, if tantalizingly and willfully indistinct. In Era is a patient, sculpted piece of work that’s been obsessively “lived with” and laboured over by Vallens. But it’s also much less of a “guitar-band” record than you’d anticipate from an ensemble that established itself as fairly proficient with pedals and feedback and the like on 2016’s Consent LP and 2018’s follow-up EP Dimmed In My Display. This is a slow burn, pushing Phillips’ primary instrument her voice and keyboards and electronics to the forefront to establish a mood Phillips describes as “nocturnal and austere yet deprived” and evocative of a “romantic, coquettish letter to the Void” for the duration. “It was written before COVID times but it weirdly feels even more apt and appropriate now, as it’s about being right in the limbo of two really large events, when you can feel the heaviness of being nowhere. That’s applicable to everyone right now." *all photos by Shelby Fenlon