Public Service Broadcasting go back in time with Every Valley
- Arusa Qureshi
- 19 June 2017
This article is from 2017.
Band's new album explores the history of mining in South Wales
With their second album, The Race for Space, Public Service Broadcasting succeeded in paying homage to one of humankind's greatest endeavours. For Every Valley, the band returns to take on a different piece of history, using a signature amalgamation of guitars, electronics and vintage samples to tell the story of mining in South Wales and its progress, demise and unfortunate aftermath.
The album wistfully traces industrial decline, beginning with the glorious eruption of tremolo strings in its title track, signifying the 'kings of the underworld' in their heyday. This positivity continues in 'The Pit', 'People Always Need Coal' and finally 'Progress', a tribute to resilience and determination, with Tracyanne Campbell's soaring vocals coalescing with the samples to stress a firm belief in the prevailing power of progress.
Every Valley's turning point comes at 'Go to the Road', which details the closure of a pit followed by 'All Out', with the discontent of the miners' strike represented aptly in the driving and spitting guitar lines. As well as adding their own unique touch, the guest appearances are carefully chosen to match the tone of each story being told. James Dean Bradfield offers an anthemic and spirited refrain in 'Turn No More' while album highlight 'You + Me' features Lisa Jen Brown singing in Welsh, accompanied by simple and quiet Latin-style instrumentation and rhythms. It provides the album's most beautiful moment; a point of reflection amid cries of perseverance.
Though the leap from the immensity of space to coal mining in South Wales may seem unusual, Every Valley allows Public Service Broadcasting to once again demonstrate their worth as researchers and storytellers, charting the story of one community to highlight the plight of many all around the world.
Out Fri 7 Jul on Play It Again Sam.