VANCOUVER – For better or worse, LA is the center of the world when it comes to the North American music scene. Out of the millions of people who come and go from the city every year, Jeffrey Jacob Mendel and Angela Gail Mattson managed to find each other and make music together as In The Valley Below.
Rising to popularity via the success of their single “Peaches” released with their first album back in 2014, an album that initially wasn’t ever supposed to be performed for people. “It’s true, our first album started as a studio project,” mentions Mendel. “We had never performed live as In The Valley Below until it was mostly finished. [In fact,] our first album The Belt was out for about a year before anything in the US took off for us. We [were spending] some time touring Europe then almost out of nowhere “Peaches” started getting some radio play in the US.”
Their latest EP Elephant, however, builds on the hauntingly beautiful indie vibes previously established while adding new elements of psych rock to the mix, both visually and aurally. ”I was getting tired of always working on the computer for our graphics,” says Mattson. “I wanted to play with paint and pens and actual paper so I printed some photos of us and started painting and doodling on them. It wasn’t intended to be cover art at first, but we felt like it fit with our new music.”
“When we were working on the Elephant EP we considered that we would have to play these songs live,” added Mendel. “From a songwriting perspective that should add another element, but we ignored that idea a lot of the time and just wrote what we felt like writing. We thought of the live show more when we were selecting which songs were keepers. You know, which ones can we stand to play over and over and how would we feel [about] sharing them.”
From The Valley Below performs at the Biltmore Cabaret July 28th and their new EP Elephants is now available on iTunes and Apple Music.Angela Gail Mattson, Elephant, In the Valley Below, Jeffrey Jacob Mendel, Peaches, The Belt