This band out of Melbourne have been quiet of late after releasing three impressive singles including Vaccine (finalist in two categories of the USA Songwriting Competition), Black Mass (#09 debut iTunes rock charts, Top 5 AMRAP) and Killer (top ten iTunes alternative charts, Top 5 AMRAP). Fronted by Glenn Patrick Collegians’ latest is part melancholic anthemic pop-rock and part indie rawness. It is perhaps a logical leap from their previous singles regarding style, utilising more organic elements than before without forgoing the synth and key embellishments that made their sound effective in the first place. The Valley, which was mixed by Grammy-nominated Travis Ference (Imagine Dragons, Eagles of Death Metal, St. Vincent), is a well- balanced blend of aspects that make this act difficult to label; they utilise strong melodic parts and surround them with energetic performances and high production values. The Valley sounds larger than life yet its lyrical content draws on a strange kind of intimacy also. As Glenn says of the song, ‘With this track we really wanted to merge the two sides of the band, to bring together the more deliberate and meditative side and marry that to the raw immediacy of our live set’. So it’s that intimacy playing against a live quality that differentiates it from their other releases. Making the most of an ambiguous lyric, with such lines as ‘Just let go till you fall’ or ‘bodies being fooled by spirit’, The Valley seems to want to have it both ways; a big bold rock record that aims to communicate via its stomping, stadium feel pulse while trying to reach a deeper level of reflection. The Valley is a multilayered, vivid encapsulation of a band refining their style, exploring the balance between the elastic intonations of pop and the more dramatic aspects of rock. This is a band on an interesting trajectory and no doubt The Valley will help in opening up their appeal, satisfying the pop listeners as well as appeasing the more discerning indie-rock listeners.