Jackson, Miss.-based Americana band Young Valley sound like the sort of guys who dig D.I.Y. punk and garage rock yet feel no need to hide their Southern accents and reference points.
A lot of folks from underground rock scenes take to classic country and folk sounds over time. Some do it to loop back to childhood memories, while for others it takes a little time to realize that their parents and grandparents have impeccable taste.
At this point in their creative paths, the guys in Young Valley do a fantastic job of blending rock and country influences on their forthcoming self-titled album. Think of them as a more Southern-sounding Deer Tick or a rootsier T. Hardy Morris.
On the follow-up to 2014’s No Filter, the band worked with Drive-By Truckers bassist Matt Patton, engineer Bronson Tew and the rest of the crew at Dial Back Sounds Studio. With the proper support team and a few more years of touring under their belts, the band felt prepared this time to make the most of its studio time.
“Our self-titled record Young Valley was one big ole Mississippi team effort,” says singer, songwriter and drummer Spencer Thomas. “The sound pumping back at us through the speakers was the sound we’ve been going for since the band began. Back in 2013, we started the process for recording No Filter. The songs were there, the ideas were there but the feel wasn’t quite what it is now. We’ve put off another record for almost four years, but in that time, we did our research by playing these songs on the road.”
The guns-a-blazing rock of the vengeful “Hope It Kills You” and the Baptist guilt-ridden “Howlin” offer up Southern roots music for people searching high and low for real rock ‘n’ roll. Thomas and brothers Zach and Dylan Lovett tone down the rock influences at times, allowing their songwriting to breathe a little on the relatively slow-paced “Song For Darlin'” and “Precious Thing.”
At either pace, these songs, created with the help of like-minded Mississippians, capture the band’s sound at this juncture of its artistic journey. “Most Southern folks have missionary groups or baseball teams they can look back on and be proud of,” Thomas says. “This was our team, and I think the album reflects that.”
Young Valley’s self-titled album arrives on April 20 via Patton and Tew’s Dial Back Sounds record label.