A psych-folk supergroup, the Valerie Project is headed by Espers' Greg Weeks and includes that band's Brooke Sietinsons and Helena Espvall, as well as Fern Knight's Margaret Wienk, Jesse Sparhawk, and Jim Ayre; Fürsaxa's Tara Burke; and Grass' Jessica Weeks; along with Mary Lattimore and Charles Cohen. The Valerie Project's lavish sound -- which incorporates harp, cello, analog synths, woodwinds, chimes, bells, and Jew's harp -- is inspired by the 1970 Jaromil Jires film Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, a surreal coming-of-age fairy tale that was among the last of the Czech New Wave works. Weeks and collaborator Joseph Gervasi planned a project to create alternate soundtracks for legendary cult films, and Valerie was at the top of both of their lists. After assembling the players that would become the Valerie Project, the ensemble began performing live dates with the film in 2006. Late that year, Lubos Fisher's original score to Valerie and Her Week of Wonders was released by Finders Keepers, increasing the film's prominence. In 2007, the Valerie Project played even more dates, including the Jarvis Cocker-curated Meltdown festival that summer. The group also recorded its self-titled debut album that year (in just eight days); it was released by Drag City late that fall, just as the band embarked on another tour.