Manchester Orchestra have just announced their newest upcoming project, The Valley of Vision. The project is a brand new album in itself, but also accompanied by an awe-inspiring film that invites viewers into 180 degrees of virtual reality.
The Valley of Vision is the band’s first album since 2021’s The Million Masks of God, and finds Manchester Orchestra reinvigorated once again, putting forth a collective, cathartic expression of gratitude that is brought to life in both the songwriting of frontman Andy Hull, and the cinematic story directed by Isaac Deitz.
On the heels of sold-out screening events in Los Angeles tonight and New York City on March 1st, The Valley of Vision will debut in a worldwide watch party on Manchester Orchestra’s YouTube channel March 9th, before the album’s digital release on March 10th.
The band, today, have also shared the opening track “Capital Karma” which is out now via Loma Vista Recordings, and can be listened to below. Pre-orders for the physical edition of The Valley of Vision can be found here.
In the days leading up to today’s announcement, Manchester Orchestra’s website previewed The Valley of Vision‘s artwork through experimental 3D animation. Using state-of-the-art, real-time, physically-based rendering graphics technology, a high-fidelity digital human with photoreal facial animation came to life as it unveiled the record, and can now be viewed in its full form here. On The Valley of Vision, Andy Hull says:
“Making The Valley of Vision was an exciting idea of what the future could be for us in terms of how we create. None of these songs were written with the band being in the same room in a live setting. They were really like science experiments that started from the bottom and were added to gradually over time. We’re intrigued by doing things the wrong way, or attempting things we haven’t done before and getting inspired by them.”
Writing for the record began with a chance occurrence in the summer of 2021. Hull was looking through his suitcase for his lyric notebook, but instead found a 1975 book of Puritan prayers called The Valley of Vision, which his mom had gifted to him the previous Christmas. The title became a mantra that helped inspire the idyllic yet otherworldly energy that permeates throughout the album and film. An evolution from its predominantly guitar-driven past, the band almost completely abandons the instruments it is used to, and instead plays with primitive yet powerful piano leads and shimmering atmospheres, backed by sub-synth frequencies of bassist Andy Prince and shapeshifting sounds of drummer Tim Very.
Through cutting edge, 3D-computed radiography technology, Isaac Deitz envelops listeners in a visual experience of The Valley of Vision, and he adds:
“Andy and I had talked about doing a film and album collaboration since 2021, after I directed the video for their song ‘Telepath.’ A year later he sent me The Valley of Vision, and I realized we had the potential to really do something special. Experiencing the film in its intended 180-degree, 3D VR format feels like downloading a dream into your head, and listening to the album feels like receiving an abstract map of different lessons regarding the human experience – forgiving yourself, listening to yourself, letting go, and saying goodbye to the old. Trees seemed to me the perfect symbol to convey a lot of those themes of life, death, rebirth and growth, but I wanted the 3DVR film to be a way for people to listen to the music in a variety of compelling environments, while also having those stories woven in for anyone paying attention. Each symbol represents a different experience nested in our internal worlds; it’s up to you whether you want to just enjoy them, or try to interpret what the dream means.”
Later this spring, Manchester Orchestra will bring music from The Valley of Vision to a hometown set at the 10th Anniversary of Atlanta’s Shaky Knees festival. Find tickets here, and stay tuned for more tour dates coming soon.
- Capital Karma
- The Way
- Letting Go
- Lose You Again
- Rear View