"Fragile yet powerful. Sad but fearless." That's how Thou guitarist Andy Gibbs describes "The Valley," his band's new collaborative song with singer-songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle. "It's the feeling you get when you listen to a lot of Emma's music," he adds.
Indeed it is. And indeed it is that mix of emotions that emanates from the powerful ballad, the latest single off Rundle and sludge-punk experimentalists Thou's forthcoming joint full-length, May Our Chambers Be Full, which is due out October 30th via Sacred Bones and available for pre-order now. The follow-up to August's aggro doom crusher "Ancestral Recall," the new song represents the more vulnerable and introspective side of the collaboration.
"'The Valley is a place. A landscape that lacks vistas and perspectives," Rundle comments of the cut. "An analogy for unrelenting, crushing mental illness, physical pain, addiction and the isolation that can arise as a result of these diseases. There is a choice one must make once initiated into The Valley's fold; to press on living where no hope will ever show itself or to dissolve into its bleak grayness. On the journey, remains of those who came before us and succumbed are visible. Instead of hope, we turn to anger and defiance for fuel and with those we fortify ourselves. The ending doesn't resolve, but successful escape from The Valley is unlikely."
For more from Rundle, watch her appearance on Revolver's ongoing "Vinyl to Die for" series in which artists show off their most prized records.