Why did you choose to cover “Drive”? That’s the question I asked Toronto band, Valley, about their new track originally written by Oh Wonder. Valley has previously covered songs by Arkells, The 1975, and St. Lucia – but it’s been a while until now. As Valley’s guitarist and vocalist, Michael Brandolino explains, covers were a way to help the band experiment and find their sound. But with the release of their new cover “Drive”, it’s different.
The idea to cover a song this time around came when the band was hitting a wall with their songwriting.
The band’s bassist, Alex Dimauro, explained how vocalist/guitarist Rob Laska connected to the song only weeks ago. When the rest of Valley agreed they too loved the song, they knew it was time to strip it down and build it back up in true Valley fashion. The idea to cover a song this time around came when the band was hitting a wall with their songwriting. Although hopeful to push past the writers’ block, the band explained it was difficult. They had to constantly ask themselves throughout the writing process, “Is this too similar? Too different?” But the use of a harmonizer – an effect used on “Swim” and other tracks – was the key that helped Valley make “Drive” their own.
Laska described the original Oh Wonder track as a feel-good, driving with the windows down type of tune. Valley’s goal was to flip the track and give it more ‘space’. By doing so, their cover has much more of a late-night vibe to it.
You know the songs you listen to during a time of reflection? This is one of those songs. It has the power to make you think and ask questions. The guest saxophone solo in the bridge certainly adds to this feeling. It’s elements like this that demonstrate the mindfulness, passion, and utmost talent that go into every Valley release.
This sentiment became even clearer as Valley drummer and vocalist, Karah James, described the band’s work ethic to me. “Our days revolve around not if, but when we will be making music,” she explained. “Why not share as much of [our music] with others as we can?”
Valley may have a large desire to share their music with fans but their focus is on quality, not quantity.
“Drive” will make you happy, sad, and excited all at the same time.
The band’s latest album, This Room Is White, is full of subtleties – “Drive” is no different. You just have to listen for them. “Drive” will make you happy, sad, and excited all at the same time. You will feel when listening to this track.
You can stream the song below on YouTube.
Valley Tour Dates
Nov 19 Lee’s Palace | Toronto, Canada
Dec 03 Rainmaker Brewhouse | Stittsville, Canada
Dec 04 Carole’s Place | Kanata, Canada