SAM AMIDON, RAYMOND BYRON AND THE WHITE FREIGHTER
GRASS WIDOW, STLS, SILVER INTERIOR
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) This past January, the ladies of San Francisco's Grass Widow holed up at the Pool recording studio in North Portland to record their latest full-length—and Kill Rock Stars debut—Past Time, a breezy 26 minutes of bittersweet, pastoral post-punk, lovingly assembled with an uncanny attention to detail that's no doubt owed to whole rainy days spent trapped indoors. The trio's well-honed songwriting and unique melodic and modal alchemy—intricate three-part vocal harmony artfully woven over and around adventurous, uptempo guitar and bass interplay—have never sounded so effortlessly charming and transcendent. Though the album pops with subtleties that beg for repeat listens, Past Time as a whole is very much an overt statement of intent to anyone who will listen—Grass Widow is a once-in-a-generation kind of band, and they're still just getting started. ETHAN JAYNE
AMANDA RICHARDS, PROFESSOR GALL
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) People, we are fucked. The dead have risen, hungry for brains (or flesh, or meaty ribs, or whatever it is zombies actually eat), and this time around hiding in a mall with a sawed-off ain't going to help things. That's the bad news. The good news is that local country crooner Amanda Richards has scored a soundtrack for the undead's flesh-chomping insurrection. Play Dead just might be the first zombie-themed country album (unless Merle Haggard has actually been dead all these years, which when you think about it is quite possible), told from the point of humanity's final survivor (Richards herself). Stripped bare of unnecessary rock opera flair, Play Dead is both sweet and enduring, despite Richards' bloody lyrical content. The end of days never sounded so great. EAC
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