Valerian - The Knight Errants of Rock

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City Canyons Records signs a three album deal with Finnish rockers, Valerian. Strong-willed Valerian has been called the "Don Quixote of Rock".

City Canyons Records, indie music’s “new sound in town” is proud to announce the signing of a groundbreaking new group, Finland’s Valerian. The three-album deal between the downtown Manhattan label and the Finnish group kicks off with the late fall 2004 release of Valerians’ North American debut album INTIMATIONS OF SORROW.

Valerian is full of surprises, moving from grinding almost metallic riffs to soaring and dramatic guitar solos to a softer almost delicate lyricism, all tied to solid, heartfelt lyrics voiced with style and conviction by a brilliant lead singer. That lead singer and spark-plug (and sometime guitarist) is Olli Koskela and he is backed by Toni Ritonen and Matti Toivonen on guitars, Janne Jaaskelainen on bass, and Tipi Andersson on drums.

Sounding like no one else but instantly familiar, Valerian are men among boys compared with other current young rockers, not through any macho posing, but through the fiery intelligence of its songs and the disciplined wildness of its play. While it admits to its own musical influences, Valerian is so disdainful of industry wisdom and industry expectations and so willing to tilt at industry windmills that one Finnish journalist has dubbed Valerian the Don Quixote of Rock. While the Quixote comparison may be apt to the extent that it reflects the devil-may-care David and Goliath attitude of Valerian, there is nothing addled or loony about its approach to music. Each Valerian song is exquisitely crafted in careful layers and uses the brilliant guitars of Ritonen and Toivonen, the inspired rhythm section of Jasskelainen and Andersson and the chameleon voice of Koskela to tell stories ranging from the travails of life on the road in “Homesick” to the blood chilling “Nothing Will Ever Take Me Away From You (From the Archives of a Serial Killer)”.

INTIMATIONS OF SORROW will be City Canyons Records third release following the release of THE SECRET’S OUT, the critically acclaimed debut album of Jen Elliott and her band Bluestruck --currently available on line and at independent record stores--and the scheduled North American release, on October 5, of UK rocker David Steele’s UNDERNEATH THE ICE.

For more information or a press kit on Valerian, to set up interviews or for advance copies of INTIMATIONS OF SORROW, please contact City Canyons Promotions at or call 646-456-9847. Inquiries may also be mailed to City Canyons Promotions, c/o City Canyons Records, 395 South End Avenue, Suite 17J, New York, NY 10280

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Trebor Lloyd