Synth-heavy, lyrically contradictive, and sonically optimistic, “nevermind” is an all-encompassing track focusing on the taboo topics of mental health, anxiety, and that feeling of not really knowing what you’re feeling.
The new single speaks to the fact that it is completely okay to not know. “nevermind” puts the trend of self deprecating humor to rest by shifting it to self awareness instead. Normalizing this is important to VALLEY, as they strive to relate to their fans and help with personal growth through their music. We are first introduced to this concept in the first verse, as Rob sings about being “glued to the mattress, stuck in his habits” and again when Karah sings to feeling “so low,” which is repeated again and again. The ambiguous feeling continues in the pre chorus: “my friends say I’m narcissistic / it’s probably true but I’m sick and tired of feeling like this.” Yet in the three minute duration, we never know what this feeling really is. Is it happy? Sad? Somewhere in the middle? Truth is, the feeling could be all three, leaving it up to the listener to decide for themselves - and that is the real beauty of the song.
Curious to know more about the single and dive deeper into the inspiration for 'nevermind' I reached out to the band.
1) Who or what has been VALLEY’s main inspiration for the recognizable synth, indie-pop sound in “nevermind” ?
nevermind has kind of a crazy story in terms of how it came to be. Mickey had originally written a demo called ‘trust issues’ with our co-writers Meghan Kabir & Cole- that demo had the chorus melody and structure there. We then all got together at our BnB in LA and started writing a completely different song until we realized that we could put them together! The original demo for ‘nevermind’ is def more inspired by Kaceys ‘Golden Hour” record and There She Goes by The La’s, but as we started producing it- we brought in synths and production elements that leaned more on late 90s / early 2000s pop groups (Backstreet Boys, S-Club 7). So we ended up with a combination of all those vibes we think haha
2) What has recording been like during quarantine?
We were super lucky to be able to lockdown in a BnB just outside Toronto for the whole month of May and finish up some new songs! but lately we’ve all been separated -which has definitely made recording and producing a little more tricky. We often work in a room together and feed off each others chemistry so its been an adjustment but a healthy one!! we’ve been able to take more time for ourselves and write alone at home which we don’t usually have the luxury of doing cause we’re on the road!! Quarantine is quite the waiting game for when inspiration will hit you, but so far its been good-writing and working on a bunch of future things!!
3) Most of the lyrics address “feeling so low,” yet the overall feel of the song is the quite optimistic. Was this contradiction done on purpose?
Yes!! a classic Valley move at this point. I was just talking to my girlfriend about this the other day- we don’t write too many happy songs even though they can often sound like it haha most of our songs come to life when we need a release from our emotions and its often times us dealing with ourselves, relationships, death, anxiety ect. So as intentional as it is, its also something that comes naturally to us as well- most of our favourite songs we grew up on carry that juxtaposition with them. the “happy and sad at the same time” scenario!
4) As addressing mental health in music is becoming more mainstream, what sets “nevermind” apart from other songs addressing the same topic?
I think for us it's not so much what will set it apart as it’s being able to BE APART of that narrative and expand on it more than we have. In the past, on our debut album MAYBE we would shy away from getting too detailed about a specific topic or we’d paint a metaphor over a more personal line if we felt uncomfortable- but with ‘nevermind” and this whole new era of songs for this band, we’re realizing the value of letting it all out even if its more vulnerable and feels less “safe” to say, its usually the stuff that people need to hear (us too ha)
5) What is your favorite lyric from “nevermind” ?
Rob: “Sometimes I want things decided for my mind”
Micheal: “This morning I looked for sadness”
Karah: “I think I’m made out of plastic”
Alex: “I wanna live in a 90s movie”
6) What can fans expect from VALLEY next?
new music!! Really just taking all this day by day. Doing therapy, writing songs, working on videos!! You will definitely be hearing from us a lot the next few months. ‘nevermind’ is out now!!! :)