Today, Manchester Orchestra have revealed “The Way,” the lead single and latest look into their reinvigorating new album and breathtaking film. Out digitally this Friday, 10th March, with a physical release set for 7th April, The Valley of Vision is a record rooted in the higher powers of resilience, rebirth and self-redemption. After a prolonged period of grief and trauma that permeated the band’s previous LP and past several years together, songs like “The Way” illustrate the journey of losing one’s mind and finding it again. Through a ghostly haze of reverb, fear and pathological feelings, singer Andy Hull’s voice rises into a guttural and goosebump-inducing belt, carrying the arrangement of piano and electronic drum beats to a cathartic crescendo. The lyrics tell a vivid story that Hull had struggled to present since first writing it in 2019, but he credits the track’s additional producers – Jamie Martens, Catherine Marks and Ethan Gruska – with helping him to finally shape it.
Like all songs on The Valley of Vision, “The Way” will be accompanied by a captivating cinematic experience, presented in the groundbreaking format of 180-degree, 3D virtual reality. Directed by Isaac Deitz – who shot the film over a solitary, year-long journey through snow storms in the Rocky Mountains, dark nights in the deep woods of Wyoming, creek beds in Manchester Orchestra’s native Georgia, and climates both scorching and freezing – the visual mirrors and enhances the album’s overarching themes of life and death, change and growth, forgiving oneself and letting go. “Experiencing the film in its intended 180-degree, 3D VR format feels like downloading a dream into your head,” says Deitz. “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.”
On the heels of four sold-out screening events in Los Angeles and New York City in recent weeks, Manchester Orchestra will present The Valley of Vision’s global premiere on their YouTube channel this Friday, 10th March. Beginning at 00:45pm GMT, the livestream of the full project will also include the first-ever After Party that YouTube Music has ever done for a film premiere, where band members and co-producers Andy Hull and Robert McDowell will be joined by Isaac Deitz to discuss the making of The Valley of Vision, in addition to answering questions from fans (VR headsets recommended for the optimal experience). The Valley of Vision will also screen during SXSW, at The Carpenter Hotel’s Quonset Huton Thursday, March 16 (12-4pm), and two sold-out shows at London’s Union Chapel on May 13th-14th, following the band’s hometown return to Atlanta’s Shaky Knees on 5th May.
From being the first musicians to work with filmmaking duo Daniels (Everything Everywhere All At Once, Swiss Army Man), to continually embracing emerging technologies over the course of their career, Manchester Orchestra have further pushed themselves into fascinating realms with every new release. While they recorded The Valley of Vision at a converted manor in Muscle Shoals, AL, none of the songs were written with the band being in the same room all together – something they have never done before. The process began in the summer of 2021, when 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 music, as the band almost completely abandoned the instruments it is used to, and treated each track like a science experiment that started from the bottom and was added to gradually over time.
. 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. The band recently announced two very special London shows ‘Manchester Orchestra Acoustic’ in May.
You can see ‘Manchester Orchestra Acoustic’ at the following dates:
13th May – Union Chapel, London – SOLD OUT
15th March – Union Chapel, London – SOLD OUT
The Valley of Vision Tracklist
Lose You Again