“The Valley Sank from the Weight of the Grief” is raw, personal and absolutely stunning. Despite the plethora of incredible albums that have already been released this year, Two Grey Hills’ 9 track document will – without doubt – emerge as one of the year’s defining moments. It’s an album that delves into narrator’s deep thoughts and mixed emotions. It’s an honest outpouring of observational and confrontational themes. It’s delicate and totally engrossing, and leaves you wanting to hear more.
We waste so much time, all of us, and we only get so much of it. We spend years in the wrong places with the wrong people, praying to the wrong gods. Nothing can bring that future back. Nothing can postpone the end of our stories, and there are always so many dark chapters. Two Grey Hills may have grabbed his stories from those very chapters.
“The Valley Sank from the Weight of the Grief” is an album of memories and stories. Musically speaking, most of the tracks on consist solely of a picked or strummed acoustic guitar, and varying layers of Two Grey Hills’ voice.
The songs work so well together it’s almost impossible to listen to them in isolation. They really demand to be heard together. It’s the true embodiment of what an album should be: not a collection of songs bound together on a piece of media but rather a musical journey into the heart of something.
The production is minimal but not bare. The melodies and tones are gorgeous and haunting. Two Grey Hills’ lyricism sounds personal and, to be honest, it almost feels voyeuristic listening to his words. They are honest, transparent, and earnest.
Maybe this is a testament to where we find our culture today. We are tired of taking pills to numb our pain. We are tired of the fraudulent nature of our day to day and we are desperate with thirst for something authentic. This album is quiet yet substantive.
It is about as real as it gets and will make you feel something real if you give it the attention it deserves. The album’s centerpieces, for me, are “Needless”, “Heirophants”, “Milton”, “By The Hands” and “Pheonix (Anna’s Song)”. They are all very soft, beautiful, steady voiced songs.
A raw yearning for meaning and connection sears through “The Valley Sank from the Weight of the Grief”. His songwriting subject matter can be wildly whimsical. I would acknowledge that sometimes he is not trying to appeal to the widest possible audience.
However, at his most accessible he is simply a sublime writer of songs. I think listeners will be struck by how beautiful these songs are, and that the depth of their insight and inspiration will be perpetually rewarding.