As the synth begins to swell, laying the foundation for “License to Drive”, the first track on Valley Girl’s debut EP, you get the feeling that you have in a theater when the lights darken just as a movie starts. Valley Girl manages to create a deeply theatrical aesthetic throughout their EP, reminiscent of a John Hughes film. In fact, that may be the best way to describe this 1980’s inspired pop band. The romantic lyrics, dreamy synth-scapes, and catchy melodies all combine to form something that feels new, yet deeply nostalgic. Often times music like this can be more stylistic than substantive, but from top to bottom each song feels special and carefully thought out.
Having only formed in February of 2015, the band is still fairly new to the scene although their faces should seem familiar. The band consists of former West & Run members: singer Ryley Grayson, bassist Taylor Robida, drummer James Reinhardt, with the addition of keyboardist Jake Nuechterlein. The Valley Girl – EP was recorded and produced by Grand Rapids native Matt Geroux, and was released last November. It’s been gaining the band some traction these past months, including a live performance on Wood TV8’s morning show.
There’s plenty to enjoy in the roughly 15 minutes of playtime on the EP, from the upbeat poppy-hooks of “Violently” to the well-placed saxophone solo in “Tmtrvl”. Four songs are only a small sample of a band’s range and it will be exciting to see where they go from here. You can find their EP on iTunes or at their website www.valleygirlmusic.com. You can catch them live at The Pyramid Scheme on March 3rd with Red Legs, Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish, and Lights & Caves. Check out their music video for “Violently” below: