In 2020 Andrew moved back to Brisbane following an extended period of travel that was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In between lockdowns and as restrictions eased, the band was able to spend time in the studio, producing a wealth of material for a busy 2022 release schedule. The Introvert Blues EP was released on February 25, followed by the Disappear EP on May 20, leading up to the release of The Valery Trails’ fourth album, The Sky Is Blue on August 12.
The Sky Is Blue is The Valery Trails’ most ambitious work to date, with the band working without a deadline and taking the time to produce each song to its logical conclusion without strictly adhering to a rigid sonic framework. Help was enlisted from Brisbane friends Tim Steward (Screamfeeder, We All Want To – guitars and vocals) and Skye Staniford (We All Want To – vocals) as well as online collaborations with a horn section in Atlanta, Georgia (Terminus Horns) and strings by Swedish musician Filip Magnusson
The album was mixed in North Carolina by Scott Solter, who has recorded and mixed an eclectic mix of artists including The Mountain Goats, Superchunk, St Vincent and his own avant garde / ambient projects such as Boxharp and The Balustrade Ensemble. Scott was the perfect choice to bring together the diverse elements and different ideas explored in this set of songs, honoring each song’s direction while bringing them all together as an album.
Even as the band’s lives change and the world around them changes even more, The Valery Trails continue to strive towards their goal to build a body of work on their own terms.