Reviews -

These guys and gals have burst onto the Chicago scene with a cache of beautiful songs and enchanting live performances. The band features Mike Galassini (formerly of 92 Degrees) and Marianne Shimkus, whose natural allure and charm should wow everyone in the crowd.
- Cavern City Tours, Liverpool, UK

New - There are surprisingly few straightforward power pop bands led by female singer/songwriters. Chicago's Valley Downs buck the trend with their solidly entertaining debut EP, which features Marianne Shimkus' wry lyrics and commanding voice over a set of catchy, occasionally country-tinged guitar pop songs penned by co-leader Mike Galassini. The opening "Drama Queen" probably has the best lyrics, but the record's high point is the simply outstanding "Sorry," a near-perfect three-and-a-half-minute pop song with the most memorable chorus found here...Behemoth is a promising debut. - All Music Guide

Together just a short while, this emerging indie rock band has already played shows in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and in Liverpool at the world famous Cavern, along with numerous live shows in its hometown,Chicago. Fronted by singer Marianne Shimkus, the band features an eclectic group of songs written by bassist Mike G. Their energetic live performances always seem to leave the audience waiting for more. Working with Chicago based producer George Langis (Smashing Pumpkins, Lucky Boys Confusion), the band is set to release their debut 5 song EP, Behemoth, in the Fall of 2004.
- Gig Guide Artist Profile, Liverpool, UK

On first listen, I was struck by how much The Valley Downs reminded me of Cowboy Junkies. The Downs, however, have much better songs than The Junkies. And though “Behemoth” is only an e.p., to my ears they appear to be better musicians. “Drama Queen” is unforgettable and is playing in my head even as I write this. Marianne Shimkus’ voice has a very comfortable, everyday sound to it, that works just perfectly with the stripped down style of production used here. “Sorry” is another catchy one. This is some really fine American music. Fans of ‘90’s alt-country group Lone Justice will love this. Here’s looking forward to their next full-length. - Get Out Magazine

Fantastic and haunting Beatles song For No One by Valley Downs....I think all pop fans will love this collection and with so many songs, there are lots of jems to be found. - Not Lame Review of IPO Vol 8

After hearing some tunes from the web site I was more than happy to book them at International Pop Overthrow Chicago. After seeing them do their set, I was ecstatic! Excellent songs, solid playing, and a front woman in Marianne Shimkus whose natural sexuality and warmth mesmerized all those in attendance.
- David Bash International Pop Overthrow

Fronted by the slender curves and seasoned vocals of Marianne Shimkus, these Chicago based indie rockers have accelerated into the passing lane on the trek to modern, powerful pop nirvana. With exceptional songwriting ability, fat guitars and state of the art production, it simply stands to reason that their fresh, sonically radio ready hooks and packed club appearances will continue to create a rapidly growing fan base. The group earns a dazzling review as an obvious standout at the recent IPO festival, exuberantly satisfying a roaring house with a triumphant set that included many highlights. They have a cache of marvelous tunes and a magnificent live show. - Kevin Hoeppner Cooler By The Lake

New - Behemoth EP is the debut release from Chicago's The Valley Downs, featuring 4 distinct songs that showcase this emerging band's songwriting skills and powerhouse musical performances. From the power pop nirvana of the first track, Drama Queen, the band quickly changes gears on the next song, Better, with singer Marianne Shimkus’ plaintive vocals taking stage on this alt-country influenced charmer. The surf inspired song Sorry follows and the CD is closed out by the tempestuous tune, Twister. Songs from Behemoth have been featured on radio stations across the US and have started to filter to European stations, including in England and Portugal. - Amazon


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SPACE in Evanston

NEW VIDEOS on the MP3/Video Page Here

RINGTONES of all the songs on Behemoth avail on

Recent Radio Plays -
The Downs were featured on KSLX-FM in Los Angeles - For No One *MP3 - listen
played Drama Queen & For No One
WPMD Long Beach, CA played Drama Queen
WXXE Syracuse, NY
played Sorry & For No One
Chicago played Better
BBC Radio Merseyside Liverpool, UK played For No One
Portugal Radio 100 has played Twister and Drama Queen Visit Them Here

The Valley Downs were just featured on NPR and Air America Radio - more coming soon!!

Also - the Downs were featured in a story in the Orange County Register - Read and Listen Here

**New Nice Picture in Chicago Tribue Red Eye Edition here


Equip For Equality

The Song Sorry was picked to be part of the Justice Music Project - more info coming soon on this amazing effort

Recordings for the debut full length CD are finishing up at the renowned Signal Sound Source on Chicago's West side. Visit the studio's site by clicking the link above and take a virtual tour - don't forget your 3-D glasses. The tracks are being co-produced by the band and George Langis.

EP Behemoth now available in stores and for download - inlcuding iTunes, Amazon, eMusic and dozens of other sites...


What we are listening to this week at The Valley Downs HQ...

Pinetop Seven Bringing Home the Last Great Strike
Green White Soul (on perpetual rotation)
Bishop Allen Charm School
Jellyfish Spilt Milk
Teenage Fanclub Gran Prix
Dolly Parton The Grass Is Blue
The Goldstars Gotta Get Out
Sugar Copper Blue
And of course, all The Valley Downs songs...

The Valley Downs Debut Single Better is featured on the International Pop Overthrow Vol 7 distributed by Not Lame Records Other artists on this compilation include Jason Faulkner (Jellyfish), Owsley, Wanderlust, Blue Ash and many others. You may also Download Better For FREE (tell your friends...if you have any) on the Audio/Video page

Return To Main Page æ original, sultry song that front woman Marianne sang with conviction and elegance. The song had and underlying surf beat and arousing lyrics that still has me singing "I'm Your Twister baby"....I thought (they) stole the show... Marianne, the blonde, sugary-sweet singer, seems happy even when she's singing sad songs. - Midwest Showcase Magazine

Featured Show - Chicago's The Valley Downs, featuring the bubbley Marianne Shimkus, play The End - Nashville Scene

They were tight and rocked. Kind of like a mix of Blondie/Pretenders with an updated edge. - Barry Holship - Audities

Maybe my favortie band from all of the shows I saw was Chicago's quirky pop-rockers, The Valley Downs. -

An exciting new band with a sound somewhere between the best of surf rock, country, power-pop and straight ahead rock. - World Of Gigs

The Valley Downs are a great Power Pop band from Chicago. They've got all the requisite hooks, jangly guitars, and sing-along choruses, with stellar female lead vocals. -

"I Drive Race Cars: A psychedelic treat."
- Chicago Noise Music Scene

A Fantastic Find! Behemoth is just 4 songs, but each one has hooks in that get stuck in your hair like bubble gum! -

If you love 3-4 minute pop tunes song by a lovely girl, with all the wit and humor and sincerity you'd can jam into a hook infused song, then this Chicago band is making music just for YOU!! -

Chicago's Valley Downs will be among the notable performers taking the stage on Saturday afternoon, playing songs off the quartet's wonderful "Behemoth" EP - Ocean County Register CA (Summerfest Preview)