Valley Maker – When the Day Leaves Livestream
The upturned chairs and scattered sanitiser bottles are the best audience Valley Maker – the project of Seattle-based songwriter Austin Crane – can hope for at the moment. Nonetheless, Crane’s performance of his latest critically acclaimed album, When the Day Leaves, accompanied by special guest and longtime harmonising partner Amy Godwin, is an enthralling expose of the artist’s vivid music making.
Recorded at the iconic yet simple setting of South Carolina dive bar The Whig, Crane is right at home, radiating a quiet mastery and easy charm as he works through When the Day Leaves and more, with palpable care and consideration. As he delicately sings in the show’s opener, Branch I Bend, it’s “all in a day’s work”.
Going electric for Pine Trees, the singer/songwriter flexes his impressive musicianship that extends beyond skilled guitar playing as his lyricism, voice and performance create a rich, evocative world of his own design. Deep, sweeping riffs on Instrument and Aberration equally show that Crane is capable of anthemic ballads similar to those of his heavier Seattle forebears – something that is more apparent on the album thanks to its extensive instrumentation.
It would be remiss not to give a special mention to one of the key pillars of Crane’s philosopher-poetics, Amy Godwin. From the off, her dazzling vocals are at times haunting and at others rich and warming, a perfectly poised counterpoint to Crane’s prolific outpouring of consciousness. Alongside When the Day Leaves, the duo also treat fans to some of their earlier works, including a particularly rousing rendition of Beautiful Birds Flying from 2018’s Rhododendron and the powerful Pretty Little Life Form off 2015’s When I Was a Child.
If he had not admitted it himself, one would not have known that Godwin and Crane had not performed together since 2019. Throughout, their chemistry buoys the show to greater and greater heights with moments such as On Revelation appearing as natural as light or air. While, unsurprisingly, not as expansive as the record itself, Valley Maker’s performance of When the Day Leaves is an irresistible close-up of artistry in all its wonder.
For further information and future events visit Valley Maker’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Pine Trees here: