Valleys Il Motore, Montreal, QC, September 19

Valleys Il Motore, Montreal, QC, September 19
Photo: Steve Louie
Marc St. Louis and Tillie Perks, better known as Valleys, debuted a set of solid new material from their upcoming new album, out (with any luck) by the end of this year. Their established style of reverberant, atmospheric synth-laced rock heard on the outfit's first full-length, 2009's Sometimes Water Kills People, and their 2010 Stoner EP has taken a slightly more pop direction for the new songs.

Sans drummer and their former backup guitarist, the duo's live performance still sounded exceptionally rich and bass-heavy — especially the electric drums and waves of trembling bass coming from Perks's synth setup. And St. Louis's guitar work managed to compensate for being just the one; it's apparent they've put effort into developing their live sound, so it doesn't necessarily sound like a two-piece. What hasn't changed much in their style is the way the band level their vocals so they function in the mix almost like just another instrument, keeping things minimal but audible enough that their thoughtful lyrics come though now and again.

After Valleys' last show in Montreal opening for Mogwai at Metropolis, Il Motore must seem a bit small — although they certainly aren't strangers to Montreal's smaller venues, by any means. But the show was sold out and Il Motore was already filling in considerably during Valleys' set, which is promising considering how many other shows there were this opening night, and especially considering the venue's relatively remote location. If anything, the audience's warm reception of Valleys' new material is a good sign of things to come for the duo.

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