Valleyheart’s Nowadays EP jumps right into emotional storytelling; it feels like you get a sudden glimpse into an active storyline right away in the first song. Even though it’s just the first song on the EP, vocalist Kevin Klein sings, “How long will I sing songs of emptiness?”
The emotive storytelling feeling is strong, making it feel like the band finds a home among similar bands right off the bat. A sense of storytelling often ends up important for this sort of music – it helps tie it together and give it a strong sense of purpose. It feels like a cohesive story throughout the EP. The same themes reappear over and over; and that quality isn’t always there; there’s lots of depth.
There are important underlying themes, like that of lost and/or waning religious faith. On “Kids From Calvary,” Klein asks where the “kids from Calvary went” – and it sounds like the speaker himself was a part of those kids. The theme of religious struggle returns on “Gates,” but it’s not worship music. Nowadays uses religion as a context to ask deep questions, such as “Did we miss the whole point all along?”
Through it all, it feels like the speaker is calling out to one person in particular who is important to them and perhaps was in his former life.
The vocals are great; they aren’t too wispy, and an occasional screamed line adds important texture to the music. The album features what could be described as purposefully simple rock music. It’s pressing although not progressive. It’s simultaneously music to jam to/play in the background and music to listen to intently and “feel feelings” to, which is a balance not many artists can strike.
The lyrics will by and large stick with you, on the song called “Midnight,” Klein sings, “We all have our favorite fears. We all have our own midnight.”
This band, who only recently signed to Rise Records, is definitely one to pay attention to. Hopefully future releases continue the story told in this opening EP and allow listeners to get to know the characters portrayed in the band’s music better.