Valley of Headless Men
In essence, the idea of Ravenna Woods can be traced back to a small coral atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With just an acoustic guitar and 4-track, songwriter Chris Cunningham traveled to the outer island community of Jabor, Jaluit to teach at a boarding school in 2007-2008. Immersed in the simplistic elements of acoustic guitar, ukulele and choral music, Cunningham drew inspiration from the extreme isolation of the location as well as the country's unfortunate history as a nuclear testing ground for the US military. Upon returning to Seattle, Cunningham quickly teamed up with like-minded musicians Brantley Duke and Matt Badger. Combining stripped down instrumentation with a penchant for hardcore/punk music, Demons and Lakes was dreamed up and executed in the form of a 14 song album in early 2010. Valley of the Headless Men comes after being reacquainted with life in urban America. Distrust in government agencies, capitalism, westernization, apocalyptic dreams, death, profiteering, war, environmental exploitation, global catastrophes...these are ideas that Ravenna has managed to weave together into a lyrical tapestry of dark observation and paranoia. Valley of the Headless Men is an imaginative reflection on the death rattle of the American dream.