Growth, Distance, & Love: The Ambient Embrace of Hanging Valleys’ Soul-Stirring EP, ‘Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone’

Hanging Valleys © 2023
Hanging Valleys © 2023
London’s Hanging Valleys blend the ambient and the intimate on ‘Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone,’ their tender, cinematic, and soul-stirring fourth EP – a breathtaking record reflecting life’s fragility, and the beauty in the rawness of our own humanity.
Stream: “Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone” – Hanging Valleys




Hanging Valleys’ fourth EP evokes a sense of grandeur; of vastness, depth, and scale. The music is mountainous – a fitting nod to their band name – but it’s not the high peaks that concern the British duo; rather, quite like their namesake, it’s the cavernous troughs; the spaces in-between each moment, where light and dark meet, where high and low coalesce, and where journeys are had, and where our visceral selves thrive.

Hanging Valleys are architects of the ambient and the intimate, and their latest record creates room for plenty of both: Tender, cinematic, and soul-stirring, Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone is a breathtaking record reflecting life’s fragility, and the beauty in the rawness of our own humanity. It’s a soft surrender to the forces outside of our control; a nuanced acceptance, marveling at who we are and where we are while gently tapping the never-ending whys that propel us onward every day.

Tomorrow I'll Be Gone - Hanging Valleys
Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone – Hanging Valleys
Get out of my own way
Or I’ll, I’ll die trying
Dead calm,
I will head back to the world
Just one minute
Tomorrow I’ll be gone my dear
No gold, just dreams
Whatever comes
I’ll be ready
– “Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone,” Hanging Valleys

Released April 5, 2023 via DayGlow Records, Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone is an ethereal and serene seduction. Hanging Valleys’ fourth EP – their first in three years – finds the London-based duo of Thom Byles and Michael Phillips taking a conscious step back in order to let their music speak for itself. The masterminds behind “Behind the Backs of Houses,” featured on Atwood Magazine‘s 2020 Songs of the Year, have long been “experts at crafting dreamy soundscapes that blur the lines between indie-folk, ambient and shoegaze,” as Atwood writer Diego Morales describes.

Hanging Valleys © 2023
Hanging Valleys © 2023



Their latest is arguably their best effort yet: An enchanting four-track immersion, Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone rises and falls, rises and falls over and over again in eighteen hypnotic minutes’ time. Hanging Valleys’ songs are the stuff of dreams, each one an expansive home to cool, cathartic vocal harmonies, warm, glistening, effected guitars, and lush synths that turn an otherwise silent moment into a soundscape filled with possibility.

But Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone isn’t just the soundtrack to your next meditation (though it would be well-suited to the job); it’s ready for active and passive listens alike – for listeners who want to slip away with, and for those who want to slip inside another’s art.

For Thom Byles and Michael Phillips, this record represents the next rung in their artistic journey, and is without a doubt both a personal and professional achievement.

“I’d like to say that this record came together easily but in truth it almost never got made,” Byles admits. “Our last record Behind the Backs of Houses felt like a real breakthrough for us artistically and sonically, we were incredibly proud of it. Not to mention having great people around who really believed in us. Our live show was really hitting its stride, and for the first time it felt like we were capturing the vibe of the recording and reproducing it faithfully on stage.”

“When the record came out, it wasn’t received as we hoped, not a step back but not a step forward either. It’s a dangerous trap to fall into, but with all the numbers and analytics available these days, it’s so easy to compare yourself to your ghost of Christmas past. It’s silly to let things outside of your control impact your emotions, but this sort of zapped our creative mojo. It’s strange to say, but in a way the lockdown helped. It forced us to stop focusing externally and slowly fall back in love with making music for the simple joy of it. This EP is dusting ourselves off and getting back at it… but for the right reasons this time. A good lesson learnt.”

Hanging Valleys © 2023
Hanging Valleys © 2023



Atwood Magazine premiered Behind The Backs of Houses‘ lead single, “The Shining Mountain,” in late 2019, praising the song (and the band) for “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.” Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone follows organically in those footsteps, once again offering a platform for introspection and deep reflection to all who opt in to what the duo are offering.

Kudos to Hanging Valleys for not letting data and numbers get in the way of them doing what they do best; in believing in themselves and in their art, they created a truly spellbinding experience for all.

HANGING VALLEYS INSPIRE AWE IN CINEMATIC, AMBIENT SONG “THE SHINING MOUNTAIN”

:: PREMIERE ::

“The vision for this record was to wheel our sound back to having some more direct moments that really jump out of the mix,” Byles explains. “Previously we had been trending towards a softer ambient approach. It was fun incorporating some new elements like heavily distorted guitar, 80s synth/guitar solo’s and gated percussion. I feel like we stayed true to our sound but also found some cool moments that matched our vision and kept the project evolving.”

Bandmate Michael Phillips agrees. “Building on the sonic bones of our previous releases, it has all the hallmark elements and strengths of our previous work whilst bringing in new elements,” he adds, “which perfectly sets the mood for the release.”

Hanging Valleys © 2023
Hanging Valleys



The pair describe their record as one of “growth, distance, and love.” The shoe fits.

The title itself is one that aches with emotion and meaning.

“It’s inspired by an excerpt from The Coastal Kayakers Manual (Randel Washburne),” Byles says, “but really this guide is a versatile life lesson bible. When on the water every moment is rather fleeting as you paddle through your environment. Appreciating what’s around you, NOW, is the key. Before you know it you’ll be around that river bend.”

From the moody keyboards that fill our ears in the opening title track, to the rain that envelops the air at the conclusion of “Jupiter,” Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone proves a musical gift that keeps on giving. The heavy “Pistol Shrimp” drenches listeners in brooding guitars and radiant, soft singing. “Keep watch, darling,” Byles sings, his voice a calming, caring beacon. “Be my eyes.” The pair describe it as “a prayer and a hope for those unique souls who protect, fight and stand up for others, despite putting themselves in the firing line.” The lyrics ache with feeling:

Beneath the currents
The waves above us
My love have courage
For me
Come out fighting
Pistols firing
Take your aim and
Be brave, fire true




“‘Jupiter’ is one which I always come back to,” Phillips says of the EP’s final song, his own personal favorite. “It perfectly encapsulates the two sides of Hanging Valleys for me. One of the most immeasurably enjoyable parts of creating music is the collaboration. Working away at a new idea and seeing what direction the other will take it. ‘Jupiter’ captures the Hanging Valleys sound perfectly for me and is something I’ll be proud to look back on as a creation of friendship and love.”

Under my skin i’m just checking
Balancing on a knife edge is all
Hold me still, away from harm
Hold me still, a wave of calm
Run the days, so soft your gaze




Byles offers a lyrical highlight from the track “Deep Reverence,” a song whose whispers feel like shouts and whose electric guitar hits feel like bits of thunder striking from the heavens.

Reverence I hold within
Enshrined beneath my skin
Cells that electrify
You’re acid I’m alkali

“Our style of music lends itself to a slow delivery,” he adds. “I feel I need to make the lyrics count as there are comparatively few compared to other genres.”

Best listened to on repeat, Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone is made for life’s longer contemplations; for walks that inspire, bits of solitude that stir the soul, and for little life moments that, while fleeting, nevertheless standout in our mind’s eye. Hanging Valleys hope to help facilitate more of those such moments – those times when we’re not at a peak, but rather, on the way – somewhere in-between.

Hanging Valleys © 2023
Hanging Valleys © 2023



“Within the process of progression and adaptation of our sound, we’ve found more solace within relatively sparse arrangements, incorporating both delicate and dense rich layers,” Michael Phillips shares. “[This EP] incorporates all of those elements and sets the mood for the release.”

A sense of grandeur; of vastness, depth, and scale. This is the warm and wondrous world of Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone, an eighteen minute ambient avalanche that promises to inspire and entrance its audience. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Hanging Valleys’ Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone EP with Atwood Magazine as the duo takes us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their latest release!

— —

:: stream/purchase Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone here ::
:: connect with Hanging Valleys here ::
Stream: ‘Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone’ – Hanging Valleys



:: Inside Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone ::

Tomorrow I'll Be Gone - Hanging Valleys

— —

TOMORROW I’LL BE GONE

Tomorrow I’ll be gone is inspired by an excerpt from The Coastal Kayakers Manual (Randel Washburne)… but really this guide is a versatile life lesson bible. When on the water every moment is rather fleeting as you paddle through your environment. Appreciating what’s around you, NOW, is the key. Before you know it you’ll be around that river bend. A pulsing beat and tremolo’d keys build into a soft explosion of guitar and Hanging Valleys’ signature falsetto vocals.

DEEP REVERENCE

The closest a Hanging Valleys track has come to a love song. In the words of Pedro y el Lobo label head Diego Morales; ‘Distortion never sounded so beautiful’. This song captures the excitement of those rare moments when a kindred spirit is found.

PISTOL SHRIMP

A prayer and a hope for those unique souls who protect, fight and stand up for others, despite putting themselves in the firing line. The pistol shrimp can create an incredible amount of noise for their size, they use this ability to protect their burrows and deter predators. Their eyesight is not good however and they often share their homes with a goby fish who is able to alert them of any danger. Thumbed electric guitar and Thom’s falsetto ripple into a gentle adventure of acoustic guitar and glistening synths.

JUPITER

Some astronomers believe that Jupiter plays an important protecting role in using its massive gravity to expel asteroids that would otherwise threaten Earth. This track is dedicated to all the guardian figures who are there for us come rain or shine. Unusual electric guitar percussion and stripped vocals build into a soft explosion of drums and shimmering textures before the storm breaks.

— —

:: stream/purchase Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone here ::
:: connect with Hanging Valleys here ::

— — — —

Tomorrow I'll Be Gone - Hanging Valleys

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? © courtesy of Hanging Valleys
art © Anugrah Wayan

:: Stream Hanging Valleys ::



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