Top 10 Totally Awesome Artists Inspired by the Valley, plus She Wants Revenge's Valleyheart
She Wants Revenge releases Valleyheart today, the band's third full length release, which sees them submerging themselves in blissful nostalgia. Not for dark '80s sounds as they are unremittingly accused of (though, yes there is still some of that), but for the breeding grounds that made them who they are today: California's San Fernando Valley, where the duo -singer/guitarist Justin Warfield and keyboardist/DJ Adam Bravin (Adam 12)- are both from.
There's still plenty of lyrical edge, brooding beats and odes to dancey influences like Depeche Mode and The Cure here to please fans of their hit "Tear You Apart." But many tracks have a fresh, cinematic, uplifting quality we haven't seen before, particularly "Must Be The One" (the video, which was filmed in the Valley, has a cameo by none other than Deborah Foreman, star of the teen classic, Valley Girl).
The sunny, picture-perfect mostly upper-middle class existence of the Valley, with its shameless consumerism (malls!) and seemingly sheltered bubble (over the hill from big, bad Hollywood) has been the source of musical inspiration before, but usually as something to rebel against, not celebrate. (See our video list at the end of this story).
Inventive, self-directed videos combined with the expanded sonic palette may finally see the band go beyond what naysayers have deemed as derivative since SWR first broke. "We never claimed to be a Goth band, we've always said we were a dark dance band who plays the music live as a four piece rock band," says Warfield. "Only this time it's more rocking and more live, and the dance isn't straight up four on the floor disco beats, it's more break-beat feeling, much like the hip-hop we came up on."
And speaking of hip-hop, we just had to ask: How was it having the undisputed toughest slot -opposite Kanye West- at this past Coachella? "Playing against Kanye was totally daunting and something we weren't sure how we felt about," says Warfield. "In the end, the only drag was that some stooge who was operating the camera on that stage decided to pack up his shit early and head back to L.A., so the live feed was cut after three songs, causing much speculation that the reason we were cut was for me making fun of Kanye. Though I did make a joke or two about Kanye it was totally good natured and coming from a place of a fan having to play up against one of the biggest pop stars in the world. Having said that, if they would have cut us for me poking fun at Kanye for his past outbursts, that would have been the textbook definition of irony and pretty fucking funny."
And! Our Top 10 Artists Inspired by the Valley: