Back in March I got a chance to see one of my favorite up and coming acts In The Valley Below play the Viva PHX festival. They opened the festival at the Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix and put on show that deserved better than the opening time slot of an all night concert. After their set I was able to chat with band leaders Jeffery and Angela about their tour, working with their label and their hopes for the future.
I was admittedly a bit of a fanboy, but considering I had never met an artist that I was writing about, I think I was at least passably cool. Angela seemed understandably apprehensive about chatting with me at first, but she warmed up after a few minutes and Jeffery welcomed my questions after hustling to pack up their gear. We spoke about the release of their new Man Girl EP, their residency at The Echo, and their plan to see their full LP released in the US later this year. I asked some prodding questions about their recent European tour, the appearance of “Peaches” on the Endless Love soundtrack, and the origins of their musical partnership. While I did my best to take notes, I quickly realized I’m a pretty clueless journalist and ended up just trying to enjoy the conversation.
When you spend most of your free time time consuming and contemplating music, its easy to forget or at least disregard the humans on the other end of the exchange. For a few minutes, that distance between creator and consumer vanished for me as I got to shake hands, share a drink with and enjoy a brief but genuine connection with Jeffery and Angela. I can safely assume that I left little to no lasting impression on them, but for me it was a significant moment that offered an empowering bit of perspective.
Jeffery and Angela of In The Valley Below are talented, humble, and hungry to get their music in front of a larger audience and I sincerely believe they’ve got the chops to make it happen. I wish them the best and I’m incredibly thankful they took the time to indulge a fan/wanna-be-rock-critic’s mundane questions.
They closed their Crescent Ballroom set with “Neverminders” and you can watch the video of that performance here. Be warned: the audio quality is not great but its still worth a watch.