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Valley Maker

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Valley Maker is the songwriting project of South Carolina-bred, Seattle-based musician and PhD student in Human Geography, Austin Crane.
His new album, Rhododendron, comes out October 12 on Frenchkiss Records. This new record reflects both the rootedness and rootlessness that shapes Crane's songwriting on the precipice of his third decade. Named for the common plant which springs up in both Crane’s native south and his current home in Washington, Rhododendron is an album about transition, about leaving, but also arriving, a document of the journeys in-between.
The album was recorded between two locales. In Portland, OR, Crane teamed with producer Chaz Bear of Toro y Moi. Longtime friends and schoolmates from the University of South Carolina, Bear and Crane laid the groundwork for the record, playing all instruments in tracking four songs between themselves. The rest of the record was tracked in Seattle with producer Trevor Spencer (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes). Having worked together on Valley Maker’s previous release, Spencer and Crane’s Rhododendron sessions aimed for imaginative yet focused arrangements, enlisting drummer James Barone (Beach House, Tennis) and bassist Eli Thomson (Father John Misty), along with Brandon Camarda on trumpet, and Andrew Swanson on saxophone. Amy Fitchette, a longtime collaborator whose roots with Valley Maker stretch back to the Southeast, provides richly layered vocal harmonies to round out Rhododendron’s lush but spacious sound.

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