Vanish Valley is essentially a self-recorded one-man folk project by musician Andrew McAllister. The album feels rural, but modern. Folk songwriting underlies the songs on the album, but McAllister also uses a lot of electric guitar, both clean and distorted. He also tosses in electric piano and drum machines from time to time. Those instruments rest side-by-side with more time-honored folk arrangements featuring acoustic guitar, harmonica, and tambourine. It’s a winning combination, largely because McAllister is a good songwriter and arranger who knows when certain elements fit best in a song.
Album opener “Bad Things” makes great use of buzzing electric guitar and organ along with a killer refrain. “Become the Night” is a gently rolling guitars-and-banjo song that greatly benefits from the simple drum machine beats that back the track. The dark, after-midnight slow rock of “Blood of the Famous” perfectly suits McAllister’s pitch-black lyrics, as does the variety of hollow-body electric guitar sounds used in the song. The only thing that holds Vanish Valley back is that the traditional-sounding folk songs are almost boring compared to the album’s more adventurous tracks. McAllister may need to unleash his wild side even more in the future.
- Multiple Songs Myspace
// Sound Affects
"Like too many great bands, Lowercase have never received their full due. Ragged, deeply, sometimes even awkwardly, personal music like theirs typically becomes the property of small but passionate fanbases.READ the article