Angela Gail and Jeffrey Jacob met while playing in what they call a “loud, grungy guitar band.” But for their offshoot project In the Valley Below, they take a more nuanced approach that keeps the rock ‘n’ roll swagger but folds in elements of synth pop, folk pop, and an assortment of unlikely influences. For example: They’ve repeatedly referred to Phil Collins a key inspiration.
Last year, they released an EP whose title track, “Peaches,” has generated a respectable amount of buzz. Later this month, they will release their full-length debut, The Belt (which you can preorder here), that will likely earn them even more. On the standout track “Neverminders,” which they describe as being “about hypocrisy, temptation, power, and the dark and dangerous fire behind that big fake smile,” they find a sweet spot in between bluesy rock revivalists like the Dead Weather and Lorde’s sweeping synth-pop, creating an epic, fuzzed-out sound that seems designed to played on very big stages. If they stay on the course they’ve plotted out, they could end up there very soon.