Valley Maker, Wilsen

Fri Nov 12 2021

6:00 PM

The Fremont Abbey

4272 Fremont Ave N Seattle, WA 98103

$13.00

All Ages

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The Crocodile Presents:
Valley Maker, Wilsen

  • Valley Maker

    Valley Maker

    Indie Pop

    We have all become experts in the imbalance of uncertainty these days, newly accustomed to canceling plans and tentatively rescheduling them for some future we can only imagine. For Austin Crane—the ruminative songwriter, riveting guitarist, and singular voice performing and collaborating as Valley Maker—such a sense of uncertainty has emerged as his steadfast companion these last few years, a period of profound transition. This flux is the anchor for Crane’s fourth and best album as Valley Maker, the gorgeous and felicitous When the Day Leaves.

    Early in 2019, Crane and his wife, Megan, decided it was time to leave Seattle. South Carolina natives, they’d been in Seattle for nearly a decade while he pursued a doctorate in human geography at the University of Washington, and she worked as a midwife. As Summer 2019 ended, they prepared to head east to Columbia, SC, rejoining a deep community of friends and moving into a century-old home in need of big love. Still, major questions loomed: Would they, just then past 30, like it enough to stay, to start a new life? And what did it mean to go home?

    Driven as it is by departure, When the Day Leaves marks the arrival of Valley Maker as a trustworthy narrator for these shaky times. Crane synthesizes these complex feelings into the magnetic first single, “No One Is Missing.” A song about reckoning with self-doubt while searching for community, “No One Is Missing” acknowledges the tension inherent in those ideas, especially during our polarized era. The swaying “Branch I Bend” is a workaday anthem and an ode to whatever goodness you find, to recognizing grace in a world that can seem starved for it.

    All these thoughts are rendered with newfound lyrical richness, balancing intimate tidbits with universal ambiguity. Crane raises questions only to let them linger, shaping clouds of geographical and political specifics and asking you to draw out the meaning. During “Mockingbird,” he sings of moving to his Columbia home and planting a new tree, tiny details that induce an imaginative diorama for the listener—where does life go from here?

    In the months before recording began, Austin convened with producer Trevor Spencer and longtime harmonizing partner Amy Godwin for sessions in Portland and Seattle, teasing out the album’s interwoven arrangements and meticulous vocal harmonies. Then, in November 2019, Crane decamped from Columbia to the Pacific Northwest for a three-week session in the woods outside of Woodinville, a small town northeast of Seattle at the foot of the Cascades. He stayed in the loft of Spencer’s Way Out Studio, the collaborators sealing themselves off in a horse barn-turned-recording space like kids at summer camp, just as winter’s mist closed in.

    The time commitment is a crucial component of When the Day Leaves. For 46 minutes, you feel like you’re sitting with Crane in an intricate, unified sound-world of his design. He offloads his observations about our tangled thicket of hope and fear, aspiration and exasperation.

    When the Day Leaves is an uninterrupted sequence of reflections about the generational limbo of being awed by and worried for this world. The anxiety of uncertainty—always part of life but now seemingly omnipresent—can be vexing, a reality these songs acknowledge. Crane, as he sings at one point, is fully “aligned with my blues.” But these songs also affirm that life is an endless opportunity for renewal, for trying again. As with dusk, when the day leaves and “tries to start again” amid a riot of expiring colors, we eventually learn what comes next.

  • Wilsen

    Wilsen

    Indie Rock

    Wilsen are the Brooklyn-based trio of Tamsin Wilson (guitar/vocals), Johnny Simon Jr. (guitar), and Drew Arndt (bass). Ruiner is the second album, follow-up to 2017’s I Go Missing In My Sleep.
    With producer Andrew Sarlo (Bon Iver, Big Thief, SASAMI) at the helm, Wilsen’s new album Ruiner dissolves both the heavy reverb and ethereal moments found on their first recording by instead letting the band’s essentials - drums, bass, guitar, and vocals - have centre stage. In the album’s opening moments, you might hear a knotted wash of guitars and Wilson softly humming, for a very brief moment returning you to their dreamscape but sharply, a driving rock rhythm comes into focus and so too does a revitalised band.

    “Making this record was somewhat of a coming of age process,” Wilson explains. “We’re getting older and becoming more deliberate, less precious, less measured. Overthinking less and trusting instincts more.”


    Although Wilsen haven’t lost their fragility entirely, on Ruiner they mainly use bolder sounds and play with gritty textures and jarring grooves. See ‘Birds II’ which centres on a piercing guitar line or the crunchy ‘Down’ which is powered by a riotous percussion section. Wilsen are moving with purpose towards something, not away from it.


    For Wilson, she’s moving towards self-acceptance, “I have an inherent shyness,” she says. “I guess I’m acknowledging and finding a way with shyness as I get older.” Throughout the record, Wilson comes to terms with her many sides including her introversion and her inner monster which the album title refers to on ‘Feeling Fancy’, Wilson, with her distinctively hushed vocals overpowering the track’s clamorous instrumentals, offers listeners a powerful, and celebratory, declaration, “Quiet’s not a fault to weed out.”


    When writing the lyrics, Wilson says that she trusted her instincts and “seized whatever emotion was happening at the time and ran with it.” The songs, as a result, are Wilson’s most honest; her openness is especially noticeable on the record’s quieter tracks when Wilson is alone with her guitar; “I woke up in a life not mine,” she murmurs on the spellbinding closer ‘Moon’. 


    But even in the loudest moments of Ruiner, Wilson doesn’t retreat into cacophony. She maintains her vulnerability and beautifully captures intimate moments like the brief peace found in a pair of eyes across the room or the exhausted resolution of a relationship.


    “It’s so dramatic, isn’t it?” laughs Wilson about the title Ruiner. “Another option was ‘Worthless’,” she jokes. But despite the air of melodrama, Ruiner aptly characterizes the process Wilson and the band took to make their album: they had to destroy the walls they built to reveal their authentic selves.

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In an effort to keep everyone entering our establishment safe, The Crocodile is requiring that patrons show proof of full covid-19 vaccination or a negative covid-19 PCR test within 48hrs from the time of entry into the venue. Additionally, The Crocodile is requiring that all performing artists also meet the above safety criteria. We will also be adhering to any state safety requirements that may be mandated at the time.

If the Crocodile is presenting the show at a different venue, please refer to that venue's website for updated safety protocols.
The Crocodile Presents:

Valley Maker, Wilsen

Fri Nov 12 2021 6:00 PM

The Fremont Abbey Seattle WA
Valley Maker, Wilsen

$13.00 All Ages

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

All Ages
limit 6 per person
General Admission
$13.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast
Will Call

Terms & Conditions

In an effort to keep everyone entering our establishment safe, The Crocodile is requiring that patrons show proof of full covid-19 vaccination or a negative covid-19 PCR test within 48hrs from the time of entry into the venue. Additionally, The Crocodile is requiring that all performing artists also meet the above safety criteria. We will also be adhering to any state safety requirements that may be mandated at the time.

If the Crocodile is presenting the show at a different venue, please refer to that venue's website for updated safety protocols.