Premiere: Hanging Valleys Inspire Awe in Cinematic, Ambient Song “The Shining Mountain”

Hanging Valleys © Max Stanley
A cinematic ethereal glow permeates Hanging Valleys’ intimate and ambient new indie folk song, “The Shining Mountain.”
Stream: “The Shining Mountain” – Hanging Valleys




A cinematic ethereal glow permeates Hanging Valleys’ intimate new indie folk song. An ambient dreamscape full of warm sonic wonder, “The Shining Mountain” captures the emotional excitement and physical surrender of being awe-struck and breathless.

Behind The Backs Of Houses - Hanging Valleys

Behind The Backs Of Houses – Hanging Valleys

Shining Mountain, my eyes!
Spindrift flying in gusts
Slow your pulse
Tall dreams before first light
Drift off to snow capped highs

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “The Shining Mountain,” the lead single off Hanging Valleys’ forthcoming EP Behind The Backs Of Houses (out 2020 via Mexico City’s PYL Records). The duo of songwriter Thom Byles and guitarist Mike Phillips, London’s Hanging Valleys have been actively immersing their listeners in deep troughs of sound since their nascence two years ago. The pair have released two EPs to date, and their music from 2017’s EP and 2018’s Fortaleza depicts not only their growth over a short period of time, but also their ability to take from a range of genres and worlds.

“‘The Shining Mountain’ is a song about awe-inspiring beauty, the allure of danger and the will to survive,” Hanging Valleys tell Atwood Magazine. “The track takes its name from the Himalayan peak Changabang, as when the sun hits the West face, the mountain appears to be glowing. Syncopated percussive acoustic, washed out electric slide and Thom’s falsetto form the first half of the track which then unfolds into a climactic groove, speckled with shimmering textures and intertwined melodies.”

Hanging Valleys © Max Stanley

Hanging Valleys © Max Stanley



They continue, “The inspiration for the track came from the unthinkable ascent of the West face in 1976 by Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker. The climbing world told them it couldn’t be done and Boardman’s gripping account of the climb made a big impression on me. I became obsessed with discovering the traits these men possessed. It was considered, at the time, to be the hardest climb in the Himalayas and I’ve always been fascinated by people who dedicate themselves fully to realising their dreams. I’m drawn to these narratives for two reasons; reverential respect and a desire to absorb those qualities that make the impossible seem possible.”

“The Shining Mountain” marks Hanging Valleys’ return following last year’s Fortaleza EP; the tracks “Arion” and “Fortaleza” from that record have since eclipsed a million views each on Spotify alone. Hanging Valleys are no ordinary “indie folk” operation; they are pulling out all the stops, experimenting and engaging with audiences as they tap into something deeper than the dream pop or ambient folk worlds alone: Something more meaningful and core to our human existence.

Directed by Corentin Schieb, Hanging Valleys’ “The Shining Mountain” music video is a stirring black-and-white display of nature’s grandeur. “A lonely and contemplative figure lost in the silence of nature // A sense of weightlessness in what seems to be an imaginary landscape,” Schieb explains. “The idea for Hanging Valleys’ “The Shining Mountain” was to have a formless visual instead of a narrative video. The result is a collage of images, textures and rhythms, put together in a grainy atmosphere to match the hypnotic and nostalgic ambience of the song. Shot during a cold and windy winter, the video is a poetic visualisation of the lyrics: an ode to wandering, nature and silence.”

Soothing and serene, “The Shining Mountain” uplifts through a balance of immersive timbres and textures.

The guitars mesh with the pulsing, cool background drums; the vocals ahs melt like snowflakes against an inviting, padded backdrop. As the music video’s main character (portrayed by Leeloo de Coligny Chatillon) looks up, closese her eyes, and takes a deep breath, so too do we inhale the beauty of such an intimate context.

Hanging Valleys © Max Stanley

Hanging Valleys © Max Stanley



According to Thom Byles, Behind The Backs Of Houses is a softer record that focuses on slowing down and finding oneself. “The overarching theme of the EP is one of slow moments and calm. It’s about that rest which regenerates and rejuvenates. A free dive into stormy seas where the exterior world melts away. You can’t stay submerged forever but the time spent under is worth its weight in gold.”

“The Shining Mountain” is thus a great introduction to the London band’s forthcoming record – a calming presence to settle the soul and excite us for what’s to come! Hanging Valleys’ forthcoming EP Behind The Backs Of Houses is out early next year. For now, stream “The Shining Mountain” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

Slow your pulse
Slow my eyes

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:: pre-save “The Shining Mountain” here ::
Stream: “The Shining Mountain” – Hanging Valleys



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The Shining Mountain - Hanging Valleys

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com