There probably aren’t too many bands out there who have released as many albums as they’ve played live shows, but that’s the position The Valery Trails find themselves in with the release of their third album, Chameleon Bones in August 2016. When an ocean separates band members, live shows can be a rarity.
Andrew Bower (vocals/guitars), an expatriate Australian currently living in Houston, enlisted his brother Sean Bower (bass) and Dan McNaulty (drums) in his hometown of Brisbane, Australia to form The Valery Trails. With the assistance of the internet and some intercontinental travel, the trio developed a set of songs started in Andrew's home studio into The Valery Trails' debut album Ghosts and Gravity, released in February 2012.
"If you're looking to make your road movie about wide-open spaces and foolish choices coming back to haunt you, [Ghosts and Gravity] just might be your soundtrack." - David Maine, PopMatters
In July 2013, after some online exchanges of tracks and ideas, The Valery Trails reconvened in Brisbane to record their second album, this time with the luxury of a full week in the studio together. The album was mixed in Brooklyn with Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Sebadoh, Spacehog).
“This sophomore album hits it out of the ballpark with its firm grasp of neatly chugging rock that bristles with a wealth of tasty hooks and sparkling harmony...This is the type of music that lifts one’s spirits in the most direct and immediate way possible: There’s a straight-on honest sincerity at work that’s impossible not to be moved by.” - Joe Wawrzyniak, Jersey Beat
For album number three, the band reverted to the technologically-enabled collaborative approach of the first album with recording sessions in Brisbane and Houston coming together to create a collection of songs that explores the different elements of The Valery Trails’ sound, from the power-pop hooks of “OK” through the layered guitars of “Cordless” and “Fall Around”, with excursions into Americana (“Doesn’t Have to Live There”) and the title track “Chameleon Bones” delving further into left field.
Tracks from the two albums have received airplay on US and Canadian specialty and college radio, as well as community radio in the US, Australia and Europe. Internet radio has been particularly supportive, with lengthy periods of rotation play.
Songs by The Valery Trails have appeared on PBS’ “Roadtrip Nation” and MTV’s “Teen Mom 2”, as well as being featured in online videos for the Dew Tour extreme sport online videos.
In 2015 the Valery Trails conquered the tyranny of distance, managing to get together for three well-received live shows in Queensland, Australia, and the band is working on plans to bring their live show to the US, hoping to nudge the number of live shows played back ahead of the album count.