Ian Roland creates the sort of music which seems to make the need for journalistic labels redundant. Yes, it comes from a folky place, but seems neither overly traditional nor unnecessarily commercial, though you can imagine it making headway into more commercial waters. It is neither past not future, fashion following nor niche. It is enough to say that The Valley is just about great songwriting. Hasn’t it always been thus? Maybe not but in an ideal world it should be.
Around these three deft slices of acoustica, Simon Yapp and Brione Jackson wrap evocative fiddle leads and swathes of warm underpinning cello respectively, and to great effect and though beats and other musical peripherals join the fray, you can hear enough to know that as a live act, the buoyancy of this core three piece is all you are going to need to musically carry the day.
If this is folk, and I guess it is more than anything else, then it is the sound of modern indie-folk pushing into pop realms, commercial sounds reminding us that there are other, better, more articulate and more emotive ways of doing things than just creating a sound to chase the money. That said there is more than enough mass appeal here to mean that whilst they may not be looking for to find a way to court the mainstream music machine, Ian could very well wake up one day and find that the mainstream music machine has come to court him.