Kevin Klein (no, not that one) is a lifelong fan of music and values its ability to connect people. “It makes friends out of strangers and we feel somehow we are not alone in our despairs or our greatest joys,” he says. “It connects us and connects us beautifully.”
Klein was 13 when he started to attend shows in Boston. His first was Parachute and Safetysuit at the Paradise Rock Club. “I remember coming home that night and thinking – 'wow, I would love to do that one day.'”
It was only a year later when he found himself on stage at the Turk House in South Boston, performing with his first band. Klein met Filipe Inacio, Danny Godwin and Jonathan Miller, shortly after and formed Valleyheart. Their debut EP Nowadays is a philosophical release, setting out to unpack the more complex aspects life. “It’s the exploration of my friendships, my headspace, emotions and faith,” Klein tells us. “A space to question and to feel whole.”
Klein wasted no time in booking Valleyheart’s first show. It was at Cafe 939 in Boston. “It was only 20 days after announcing our existence as a band and we hadn’t released music yet,” he says. “It was really fun, but also was a moment of, 'wow, we have a long way to go to perfect our live sound and dynamic.'”
Klein enjoys songwriting, a craft that he’s been practicing since high school. It’s not uncommon for him to pull from his past work for Valleyheart, but he holds off on adding the full band perspective until he’s confident he’s delivering a polished piece. “I usually have a pretty completed idea and bring it to the guys.”
For years, Klein has been recording from the comfort of a small studio in his home, and he continues the tradition with the music created for Valleyheart. “I’ve just always liked the excitement caught in the demo takes and home recordings," he says. “It’s not uncommon for that audio to be incorporated into the studio mixes.”
But when it comes time to polish things up, Klein works with Kevin Billingslea at The Halo Studio in Maine. “Kev helps co-produce and does all of the engineering and mixing,” he tells us. “The folks at Halo are some of the most creatively cultivating, genuine, and hard working people around.”
He extends that sentiment to the musicians in Boston, and respects the diversity, honesty, and strength of the local music scene. Klein believes its sound parallels the communities and social landscape of the city. “There are some artists really killing it right now,” he tells us. “And I love how there are artists and bands for so many different genres.”
And he’s proud that Valleyheart is contributing to that sound. Their first full length album will be released later the year through the Oregon-based Rise Records/BMI, a label they've been with since releasing their first album. You can't stop progress.
The Boston Music Awards recently selected Valleyheart to be a part of the 617Sessions, a program that recognizes Boston-based artists who are making great contributions to the local scene, and rewards them with a day of studio recording.
Visit 617Sessions.com to learn more.