In big-budget film franchises and formulaic sci-fis, transit in outer space seems like a glamorous commodity. The captain of the ship knows exactly which buttons to press and what levers to thrust forward, and whoosh, in a neatly animated instant, the sleek vessel jets off through the stars to its destination. Consequently, in movies that follow other formulas, mingling among friends also seems easy and painless. No one has to push any buttons or levers, because everyone is laughing, and smiling, and trading quips about relevant plot details. In those simple flicks, not once do we doubt the dashboard finesse of the space captain, or the fellowship between those mingling teens/young adults on the screen.

As it turns out, reality wrinkles the cozy fantasies of both space travel and social shindigs—and while more nuanced movies and films often deconstruct one or the other, local cosmonauts Low Valley Hearts have managed to dissect both with “Taking Us Down.” At once, the spectral organs and cosmic harmonies from Evgenia Leshchinskaia (synth, piano, vocals) and Zalika Yavlinskiy (synth, vocals) invoke an ancient grandeur, like the vast Promethean ramblings of Procul Harum; however, rather than hurtling forward, the drums lock us into a trance.

Meanwhile, in the video filmed by Jack (Uniq), four adults sit and smile awkwardly at one other as the scenery shifts and scrambles behind them. No matter what surreal backdrop drapes their huddled mass, each person stares blankly at the screen, as if they’d rather be somewhere else.

Guitarist Rossilini Politi—who, like drummer Sean Zearfoss, also plays in nerve pop vets Small Reactions—explains that both the song and the scenes reflect the isolation that wells up and stymies individuals. In deep space, he tells Immersive over email, that loneliness manifests into hallucination and psychosis. On earth, the same psychedelic interference crops up as anxious individuals try to slot into social groups, “living vicariously through fantasy in order to feel a bond to someone.”

And just like that—whoosh!—Low Valley Hearts prove that your friends and acquaintances can be just as impossible to traverse as the cosmos. And that’s only the start of the mind-bending powers that this band can and will wield, both on present stages and in future broadcasts.

“Taking Us Down” is the latest single and video from Low Valley Hearts’ forthcoming debut LP, Pictures of Your Mind, out Feb. 16.

Low Valley Hearts will perform on Fri., Jan. 19 at 529 alongside Mattiel, Beije, Jaguar Purrs, and DJ Kale Svvick. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $8. 21+ to enter.

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