Valleymakers

Valleymakers

 Montréal, Quebec, CAN
BandPop

Imagine Leonard Cohen, Aaron Copland, and Dan Bejar (of Destroyer fame) sitting down together at a fire's side in a secluded log cabin to collaborate and share their thought's on music and art. The result would be the lyrically and sonically lush, poetic sounds that are Valleymakers.

Biography

VALLEYMAKERS is the portmanteau that makes no bones about liking pretty instruments and archetypal men. Hailing from such patchwork pockets as the Quebec Laurentians, Atlantic East Coast, and southernmost Alabama, members ultimately converged in Montreal, 2010. Bringing with them their varying art backgrounds, ranging from modern dance to classical chamber to contemporary jazz, each member helps build an environment rich in collaboration and creativity. With their individual strengths and eclectic tastes filtered through the influences of Leonard Cohen, Aaron Copland, Bill Callahan, and Nico Muhly, each contributes to a single goal: the creation of music that strikes a balance between contemporary folk and chamber music, not only within instrumentation and arrangement, but also in their approach to live performance. It is the Valleymakers take on song crafting that consistently pushes the members to their artistic and technical bests, resulting in an evocative, individualistic sound.?

In the fall and winter of 2010/11, Valleymakers holed up in a basement apartment in Montreal's Mile End to write, arrange, and rehearse their debut, self-titled EP, before stepping out into the studio. Once there, veils of woodwinds, strings, and brass were laid to compliment their stirring vocal harmonies and striking melodies. After many long nights and contributions from talented friends, Valleymakers’ orchestral ambitions arrive June 1st, 2011.

Lyrics

Starry Crown

Written By: M. Alford/ N. Segal

Hang my body in a wooden frame
over the hearth and the blood-red flames
Drive the nail deep in the wall
My old body will never fall
My old body will never fall

Knit my face to the pillowcase
on the bed all stained with grace
Shake the dirt out of my skin
Ask me how my life has been
Ask me how my life has been

Plant my eyes on the garden path
Soak my specs in an epsom bath
For every broad that I have wed
There's a voice inside my head
There's a voice inside my head

Braid my beard into a horse's tail
Comb my hair 'to a wedding veil
Fill my mouth with feather down
I'm gonna wear that starry crown
I'm gonna wear that starry crown

All my praises sing
Remember me a king
All my praises sing
Remember me a king

Chop my bones with the silvern axe
Stack them next to the sugar shack
They'll be dry when the rain turns snow
Bear your arms and carry them home
Bear your arms and carry them home

Hang a bell on the cellar door
It will ring when I walk the floor
Drinking all the barrels up
Of wine and blood that fills your cup
Wine and blood that fills your cup

Mix my paints with soil and sand
Place a brush in my oiled hand
Trace the outline of my face
Gold and silk and all things grace
Gold and silk and all things grace

Braid my beard into a horse's tail
Comb my hair 'to a wedding veil
Fill my mouth with feather down
I'm gonna wear that starry crown
I'm gonna wear that starry crown

All my praises sing
Remember me a king
All my praises sing
Remember me a king

Night of the Fox Hunt

Written By: M. Alford/ N. Segal

Under your parasol, you crushed me
Rosary to the wall, keep talking
Down in the baker’s den,
was the only ever time we swore aloud

Just take the boulevard, and I’ll walk you up and I’ll walk you down
Hide and go seek her now, pull over
Working for penny thoughts
Was the only ever time I poured it out

Clearly he died the night of the fox hunt
Riding beside his velvetine casket
And you know he didn’t like that very much
And you know he put his faith into a crutch
He put his faith into a crutch-

Let’s throw our weight around some more
and break it in easy
It is so pleasing, it is so pleasing
I’ll sit around and write a book
and you’ll read my story
It gets kind of boring, it gets kind of boring
here

Won’t say I wished you well, get back here
Burn down the midnight sail, it’s morning
The reverend will feed us now
It’s the only ever time we took a bow

Surely the hounds are resting in the parlour
There are bones underground from a body in pieces
And you know they never found any will
And they knew there were no foxes on that hill
There were no foxes on that hill -

Let’s throw our weight around some more
and break it in easy
It is so pleasing, it is so pleasing
I’ll sit around and write a book
and you’ll read my story
It gets kind of boring, it gets kind of boring
here

It's My Body in the Tree You're Tearing

Written By: M. Alford

I once had two young sisters
when we lost our only brother
How they laid upon his tomb
They wailed for days and nights
When they found themselves held fastened
By a sudden growth of roots
I tried to pull their feet away
but just found leaves instead of shoes

I called out for our mother
But what was there to do?
She tried to tear the bark away
But then the blood just dripped on through
She said to them, it's not enough
To love you like I do
God is good and so are you
We will be made new they cried

It s my body in the tree you’re tearing down 4x

I once had two young sisters
But I’ve got no sisters now
Their legs are trapped by amber wood
And their arms are thick long boughs
The sap runs down their every inch
Sweet memories of two girls
While our mother goes from branch to branch
Kissing every last curl

And oh how they call to her
But what is there to do?
She tries to tear the bark away
But then the blood just drips on through
She says to them, It's not enough
To love you like I do
God is good and so are you
We will be made new they cry

It’s my body in the tree you’re tearing down 4x

By Jove, I beg you hear us
This enchanted grove
Hey Sis, stop your crying
Can’t you hear our moans
Our moans-

It’s my body in the tree you’re tearing down 4x

Bad Blood

Written By: M. Alford

Take the bottle of bourbon
down from the freezer
And place it, between the,
curled toes of the healer,
Who's leeching the bad blood
from the backs of the arms of your sons,
And your grandsons, and termites, and dogs

While you carry the girl,
for you've sewn her skin
to your own, it is fragile,
a talent, a blanket of bone,
at your collar, your gullet,
your birdcage of stone,
Tie her tongue to the bottom
of the tide pool, it's wrong

To hold her head underwater for so long
It's wrong to hold her head underwater for so long
It's wrong to hold her head underwater for so long
It's wrong to hold her head underwater for so long

It's wrong

Crack the face of the clock
that cuckolds with old age
and chimes of a soft time
when you knew only wet sex and sage
wrapped in paper and sealed by the spit of your thumb
you are mighty, in the cellar, with the ringworms and crumbs

Mind the girl, for she's taken to eating her paw,
dropping pine cones in stream beds, and thrusting through straw
Call your dogs and your sons to the right of your arm
Hear her voice cut with quartz rock, such fine dust can't harm

It's wrong

Blueberry Blouse

Written By: M. Alford/ N. Segal

Blueberry blouse
hanging from that poplar tree
A wide-opened mouth
K-I-S-S-I-N-G
And the bridges burned
As stomachs turned
Into dust

Polkadot skirt
pressed against the riverbed
A loose-lipped curse
Wondering if her hair's still red
And the levee broke
As minnows choked
On the stone
On the stone On the stone

Go Galavanting
Beneath your dress
Take a tip from me
Mind the bird wings beating
Picturesque
and those buzzin' bees

One loose tooth
biting at the whipporwill
The gospel truth
Cowers as the casket spills
Under the seams
Beneath the streams
Of you

Damp dark skies
falling through the poplar trees
Two crossed eyes
K-I-S-S-I-N-G
But I forget
Where we first met
Was it death?
Was it in death? Was it death?

O soft-skin soldier
you are statuesque
Let your hair hang down
O please remember
'bout your nakedness
Undo your blueberry blouse
O please remember
'bout your nakedness
Undo your blueberry blouse

Bonaparte's Courtship and Changes

Written By: M. Alford/ N. Segal

Bonaparte, Bonaparte
stuck on the shelf
You'll take me dancing,
just not after dark
And to say that I wasn't lonely
was a war in itself

Bonaparte, Bonaparte
married a womb
I tore at the pages,
I begged for a heart
But when the carton of milk arrived empty,
I looked in my tomb

Run fast, Paris, do you know if he's thinking of me?
(Courtship and changes are few)
Sing, London, sing, I have bedded a king
(Courtship and changes are few)
My Bonaparte, I know a truth
It is stranger than you

Josephine, Josephine
under the bell
I studied your words, and I broke you apart
On the ride to the white cliffs, I crumbled
I felt the swell

Josephine Josephine
This is my will
Down from the belfry they'll carry me in
a casket of oak and of roses
May I lie still

Run fast, Paris, do you know if she's waiting for me?
(Courtship and changes are few)
Sing, London, sing, you have defeated a king
(Courtship and changes are few)
My Josephine, I know a truth
It is stranger than you

Discography

- Valleymakers - "Valleymakers", self-titled EP, released June 1st, 2011

- Turtleboy - "Smart Matter" - Songlines (2011). Appear on the track "Northwest Passage"

- Valleymakers live in studio performance on 90.3 fm CKUT's Underground Sounds, April 4th, 2011 (hour 2)
(https://secure.ckut.ca//cgi-bin/ckut-grid.pl?action=showaudio&show=monday,20:00)

- "Starry Crown" featured on Montreal's quintessential blog, Midnight Poutine, in
their "Montreal Weekend Playlist Podcast #200"
(http://www.midnightpoutine.ca/weekend_playlist_podcast/2011/03/the_midnight_poutine_podcast_-_mar_22_-_28_2011/

Set List

Night of the Fox Hunt
It's My Body in the Tree You're Tearing
Bad Blood
Bonaparte's Courtship and Changes
Blueberry Blouse
Starry Crown
New Forest Green
Psycho Killer (cover)
You're As Young
Maslowe's Hierarchy of Needs