A little garden behind the backs of terraced houses provided the inspiration for the title song of the new EP “Behind The Back Of Houses” from Hanging Valleys. “Having access to this small wilderness has proven to be grounding, restorative and sacred” explains vocalist Thom Byles. “Each space has its ow ecosystem where rhododendrons, snails, cats and foxes compete for territory. Me, I’m just there for the peace & quiet.”
Hanging Valleys is the music of Thom Byles and Michael Phillips. Thom attended school in Mexico City and was brought up in a musical family. He moved back to the UK where he encountered Michael who was born and raised in South East London. They met working in a post-production house in Soho where they served tea and snacks to hungry editors. The pair were drawn together through their love of soft rock and peanut butter. Dreaming of bigger things they set out on various risk-filled adventures across the country, conquering treacherous peaks and raging seas. After several near death experiences the pair decided it was safer to stay indoors and make sounds.
Falsetto vocal melodies are accompanied by electric and acoustic guitars which combine to create a rich shifting soundscape. An unusual percussive playing style on the acoustic is blended with percussion and ambient sounds to create pulsing rhythms with captivating crescendos.
The video of “Behind The Back Of Houses” was directed by Andres Arochi (who has previously worked with Alt-J, FKJ, Ry X, among others) and was shot by Galo Olivares, who was co-cinematographer on the critically acclaimed film Roma (2018), which had several nominations and wins at the 91st Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film.
Arochi elaborates on the stunning short film that was produced in Mexico:“I was inspired by the aesthetics of Mexican Classics. The photographs of Graciela Iturbide and the Golden Age cinematography of Gabriel Figueroa. Don Benito and Doña Eva are not trained actors, which is what gives the scenes such a natural feeling, they are simply interacting with places they have known their whole life. We got there with a clear idea of the emotions we wanted to capture, but it was really the town and the Hacienda of Puruagua that told us the story.”
Listen to Hanging Valleys here