The Michigan-based duo In the Valley Below took their art to the next level in 2019, releasing the multimedia project The Pink Chateau, in which their sophomore full-length album serves as the soundtrack for a feature-length film of the same name, written and co-directed by the band’s singer and keyboardist Angela Gail Mattson. According to the duo, the film was inspired by vintage French erotica and follows the journey of an intimate meeting between two strangers. Their slinky, sulky alt-pop lends a tantalizing touch to the visuals, but it still holds its own intrigue, especially on dreamy downtempo tracks like “Rise.” Given their natural ability to set the mood, they seem like just the right people to put together an ideal soundtrack for a romantic dinner date.
Say Mattson and bandmate Jeffrey Jacob Mendel of the playlist: “We like to listen to mostly instrumental music when we eat dinner. Something that goes with red wine or whiskey. Sexy with a few subtle surprises. Not distracting from conversation, but not boring. Soulful and inspiring. Playful with a hint of darkness. Something dreamy like Dorothy Ashby and her harp to Angelo Badalamenti and the familiar songs of Twin Peaks. Miles Davis’ simple haunting dual-note melody to the sunny gospel groove of Booker T. and The M.G.’s. This playlist is a collection of songs for our ideal evening of conversation and romance.”