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Show Preview: Valley Maker at Immaculate Consumption

Coffee houses tend to get a bad rap when it comes to music. They’re stereotyped as playing host to open-mic nights where droves of terrible to mediocre singer/songwriters showcase their average-ness to the general dismay of anyone who came into the shop looking for a quiet and peaceful coffee drinking experience. If you identify yourself as one of these fresh-brewed naysayers, allow Valley Maker, Dylan Lee and Amy Godwin to enlighten you as to what a rewarding night of music at a coffee house can be Thursday night at Immaculate Consumption.

The bill for the evening features talented and experienced singer/songwriters from up and down the east coast, with Amy Godwin hailing from Macon, Ga., Dylan Lee from Washington, D.C./New York City and Austin Crane (Valley Maker) from here in Columbia. All of them bring a lo-fi indie vibe with their recordings, featuring tasteful harmonies scattered atop clean guitar sounds that make the songs feel very ethereal. While their similarities make the trio a great billing together, it’s the unique aspects that each of them bring to the table that will make this show worth your while.

The warm, smoky quality of Amy Godwin’s voice alone commands attention from anyone within earshot. Her songs are simple, like “Sharon’s Song” that features her naked voice accompanied by piano alone, but it’s this simplicity that gives her music such a wholesome and pleasant feel. I’m normally not a fan of musicians harmonizing with themselves on recordings (prime example: Paramore), but Amy’s harmonies won me over instantly, especially on the Feist-esque track “Sunflower Talk.” Definitely looking forward to seeing her perform live.

Dylan Lee’s music features the same simple structure as Godwin’s, with most songs exhibiting raw vocal tracks alongside acoustic guitar or piano, but his lower, male voice provides a much more pensive feel than does Godwin’s higher range. The lack of extra instrumentation forces you to listen to the words and understand exactly what he wants to get across lyrically, much in the same vein as Conor Oberst or Leonard Cohen. For those looking to hear Lee’s music before the show, he offer his Blood on the Highway EP as well as two singles as free downloads on his Band Camp (dylanlee.bandcamp.com).

If you’re from Columbia and not familiar with Valley Maker at this point in time, you best listen to the tracks and recognize (they’re all available for free listening at valleymaker.com). Valley Maker is the product of USC alum Austin Crane’s senior thesis, where he put his lyrical interpretation of the book of Genesis to music and recorded the entire project. Opener Amy Godwin sings with Crane on the Valley Maker EP, giving the music full sounding male and female vocal harmonies that the other night’s acts lack. Crane is one of Columbia’s most revered artists, so you shouldn’t miss a chance to check out his latest project in a venue as intimate as the basement of Immaculate Consumption.

The doors for Thursday’s show are slated to open at 8:30 p.m. with a $5 cover. Immaculate Consumption is located at 933 Main Street, Columbia, S.C. For more information, contact the venue at 803-799-9053. Trust me, this is a show you will want to attend.

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