Ambition. This is the lone adjective one could safely use to sum up the personality of the Minneapolis, MN based folk-rock band known as Rogue Valley. But let me explain…I’m not talking about a materialistically inclined breed of ambition. I’m talking about a level of artistic focus that few in the music world dare to imitate.
Picture this: Four full-length albums, each dedicated to one of the four seasons, written and recorded in one year’s time. This feat has earned the band their share of recognition as they’ve since toured nationally and overseas, as well as having their song, The Wolves and The Ravens, placed on the major motion picture soundtrack for the film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, staring Ben Stiller.
Currently consisting of Chris Koza (vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming), Luke Anderson (drums, percussion, sample production), Paul Engels (bass, vocals), Linnea Mohn (vocals, keyboards), and Peter Sieve (guitars, vocals), this talented bunch has recently released their latest project, the surreal and spell-weaving, radiate/dissolve.
Here’s what we dug most…
The gentle hymn, The Brightest Stars, subtly opens the album with an arsenal of captivating tones, harmonies, and prose. It is here that Koza informs us—immediately—that he has no intention of convincing anyone of anything. There are no arguments. There is no blame. He is merely reporting, through the music, what he has witnessed. This theme, then, echos throughout the the entirety of the album.
Bury Your Heart is a dark and beautiful search for the humanity in all of us. With a haunting mix of instrumentation and programmed tones, the track sounds—and reads—like it belongs on an episode of HBO’s Westworld…
“stop at nothing
watch it all fly by in a blur
oh black bird blue sky red earth
where did you bury your heart?”
Loom opens with rich, saturating synth chords reminiscent of something you might find on a 90’s Enya album. However, this quickly dissolves and the song instantly transforms into a lovely acoustic/electric ode to love and the respite it provides in troubled, modern times. Like so many of the songs on this album, the mix is, once again, soothing and flawless.
Our Favorite Track:
In the album’s strongest effort, Transference, Koza openly explores his consciousness and the beautifully ironic state that exists between his human condition and his eternal spirit…
“above the earth
above the sky
beyond the stars
inside my mind
a crushing flood
peaks and valleys
a new world will wait
a world will wait
a world will wait
when i wake up
i wake up
i wake up”
The album’s brilliant production offers a modern-day appeal. Yet, while listening to radiate/dissolve, one could just as easily be transported to times long past. As Rogue Valley casts their spell, visions of wagon-trains and long, isolated journeys across western desert plains come to mind. The album is so subtly, gently, packed with an adventurous spirit, a spirit that rips open one’s creative center. It’s almost as if the songs create some kind of mystical, agenda-less ether which asks the listener simply to imagine…and nothing more. Simply put, this is a wonderful body of work.
BELOW, you can listen to Rogue Valley’s album radiate/dissolve, check out our interview with Chris Koza, connect with their website, download, streaming & social media platforms, watch their music videos, check out their live show/tour schedule, and find their booking & contact information. Please support Rogue Valley by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
Listen to Rogue Valley’s album, radiate/dissolve:
Read our artist interview with Rogue Valley’s Chris Koza:
Follow, stream, download & connect with Rogue Valley online:
Watch Rogue Valley‘s music videos for the songs Bury Your Heart and Transference:
Check out Rogue Valley’s live show/tour schedule:
Booking & contact information for Rogue Valley:
Booking & Management:
woolsmgmt (at) gmail.com
krista (at) tinderboxmusic.com
roguevalleyband (at) gmail.com