Previous praise for Valley Maker:
“Thoughtful, spectral folk” – AV Club
“(Crane writes) elegant folk songs with airy, atmospheric spaces.” – CLASH
“Crane’s cracked, yearning vocals explore themes familiar to fans of his work: his wandering faith; the weight of your upbringing; the embrace of life’s discoveries.” – Consequence Of Sound
“He pours his tender vocals into the world, imploring himself – and everyone else – to keep the faith.” – Gigwise
“His language might be metaphorical and rhetorical, but his tender voice and indie-rock songwriting are both immensely grounding.” – Paste
“When The Day Leaves is, in many respects, Valley Maker at his most unified, yielding highlights that stand as some of the strongest in Crane’s catalogue of work.” – The Line Of Best Fit (9/10)
“the record is an intricate, delicate exploration full of harmonies, lyrical richness and musical prowess, offering a surprise with each and every listen” – YUCK
Following on from the release of new album When The Day Leaves, South Carolina’s Valley Maker announces a very special livestream for Saturday 20th March. Also known as Austin Crane, he will be joined by long-time collaborator Amy Godwin who features throughout the album.
Presented by Ground Control Touring‘s GCTV platform, the concert will start at 8pm EST (1am GMT 21/03), and the link will remain live for 48 hours thereafter.
Tickets are available HERE.
Valley Maker also shares a handwritten lyric video for album opener ‘Branch I Bend’, a love letter to nature which perfectly captures the album’s tone. It was directed by dustoftheground and filmed in a nature preserve on Edisto Island, South Carolina, layered with Austin’s own penmanship to produce a ghosting effect that matches the surreal quality of the landscape.
Watch the video here.
When the Day Leaves is Valley Maker’s fourth studio album. The pandemic has seen us all become experts in the imbalance of uncertainty these days, newly accustomed to canceling plans and tentatively rescheduling them for some future we can only imagine. For Crane – a ruminative songwriter, riveting guitarist, and singular voice – such a sense of uncertainty has emerged as his steadfast companion these last few years, a period of profound transition. It’s prompted him to appreciate the present even as he analyses it, to acknowledge the future’s limitless possibilities even as he recognises its potential perils. This flux is the anchor for When the Day Leaves. Through his compelling accounting of the past and his reckoning with this moment, Crane stares down the “part of life that remains unknown.”
When The Day Leaves is out now via Frenchkiss Records,
and available HERE.
Photo by Bree Burchfield. Find high res here.
More about When The Day Leaves:
We have all become experts in the imbalance of uncertainty these days, newly accustomed to canceling plans and tentatively rescheduling them for some future we can only imagine. For Austin Crane—the ruminative songwriter, riveting guitarist, and singular voice —such a sense of uncertainty has emerged as his steadfast companion these last few years, a period of profound transition. This flux is the anchor for the gorgeous and felicitous When the Day Leaves.
Early in 2019, Crane and his wife, Megan, decided it was time to leave Seattle. South Carolina natives, they’d been in Seattle for nearly a decade while he pursued a doctorate in human geography at the University of Washington, and she worked as a midwife. As Summer 2019 ended, they prepared to head east to Columbia, SC, rejoining a deep community of friends and moving into a century-old home in need of big love. Still, major questions loomed: Would they, just then past 30, like it enough to stay, to start a new life? And what did it mean to go home?
Driven as it is by departure, When the Day Leaves marks the arrival of Valley Maker as a trustworthy narrator for these shaky times. Crane synthesises these complex feelings into today’s single, “No One Is Missing.” All these thoughts are rendered with newfound lyrical richness, balancing intimate tidbits with universal ambiguity.
In the months before recording began, Austin convened with producer Trevor Spencer and longtime harmonising partner Amy Godwin for sessions in Portland and Seattle, teasing out the album’s interwoven arrangements and meticulous vocal harmonies. Then, in November 2019, Crane decamped from Columbia to the Pacific Northwest for a three-week session in the woods outside of Woodinville, a small town northeast of Seattle at the foot of the Cascades. He stayed in the loft of Spencer’s Way Out Studio, the collaborators sealing themselves off in a horse barn-turned-recording space like kids at summer camp, just as winter’s mist closed in.
The time commitment is a crucial component of When the Day Leaves. For 46 minutes, you feel like you’re sitting with Crane in an intricate, unified sound-world of his design. He offloads his observations about our tangled thicket of hope and fear, aspiration and exasperation.
When the Day Leaves is an uninterrupted sequence of reflections about the generational limbo of being awed by and worried for this world. The anxiety of uncertainty—always part of life but now seemingly omnipresent—can be vexing, a reality these songs acknowledge. Crane, as he sings at one point, is fully “aligned with my blues.” But these songs also affirm that life is an endless opportunity for renewal, for trying again.