You'd expect the new tune from Terry Six and King Louie Bankston to sound like a sweet, sweet slice of bubblegum glam garage. After all, those two were part of the Exploding Hearts, the seminal Portland melodic punk band that ended in a tragic crash on I-5 in 2003, killing three of the other band members. And indeed, Terry & Louie's "(I'm) Looking for a Heart" delivers, offering a gorgeous, compact bit of power pop that'll get stuck inside of your head in the opening 10 seconds. Six left Portland for Oakland some time ago, but he enlisted Bankston to come out from New Orleans for a pair of singles. They're part of the enduring legacy of one of the city's most important bands, and it's great to hear 'em together again.
Old Wave is pleased to meet you. The Portland group is the former Adam Brock 4—brand new name, same great flavor. Actually, Old Wave's upcoming debut full-length (out in November) should showcase a heretofore new side of the continually growing band, which stemmed out of Brock's solo recordings into some full-fledged band action. Here's the exclusive premiere of their first song under the new moniker: "Riddles" is a steadily escalating track of complex pop beauty, a true calling card for the great things to come from Old Wave.
Brock says, "I started writing and recording 'Riddles' in the winter of 2013, but the song didn't really come together until I met Amanda (whose voice complete's the conceptual part of the song and adds a new texture that was missing in my music). Amanda had heard a song of mine on the radio and sent me a message wondering if I needed a bandmate. Soon after we met Abbey, whose amazing pipes enter to double the guitar solo and add another layer to the last chorus. Barra Brown's jazzy ride cymbal and tom fills were the last ingredient to add to the song (and finalized our current line-up as well.) We performed as the Adam Brock 4 for about a year but decided to change our name to Old Wave to reflect the increased role my bandmates play in the music making process."
Old Wave performs this Sunday night as part of this month's FREE Ear Candy showcase at Mississippi Studios, hosted of course by the Merc and the 'Sip. They're the first of three bands, opening for Lubec and Night Mechanic, two other terrific Portland bands that are celebrating their respective record releases at the show. It is an event not to be missed.
Lots more Music Monday after the jump, including great new ones from Greylag, Peter Broderick, Wampire, and Night Mechanic!
Jeffrey Martin's album Dogs in the Daylight came out on Fluff and Gravy Records last week, and here's the excellent title track, a lovely folk waltz dusted with trumpet and upright bass. It's Martin's voice and words that drive this one home, with lines like "A man is only a man until he isn't." This one sticks with you. Martin plays his album release show this Saturday night, August 30, at the Alberta Street Pub, where he'll be joined by Vikesh Kapoor and Hip Hatchet.
DoublePlusGood go full Brit with this new one: "Words Fall Asleep" is a speaker-filling, multicolored lullaby with some '80s new-wave/post-punk throwbacks and some very 2014 synthpop accoutrements as well. This track's a beaut, with nocturnal shades outlining the Lite-Brite melodies. DoublePlusGood release their new album, You Can Master Life (on which this song appears), next month on SoHiTek, and the band plays a release show on Thursday, September 18 at Mississippi Studios.
Salem band Roman Tick (get it?) have a new song, the winsome, rhythmic "Pretty Scary," which places crystal-clear guitars and cheeseball synths over a danceable beat. This track will appear on the band's debut EP, although no further details are firmed up yet, as the band's currently on a writing hiatus and is not playing any shows. That will change at some point, presumably.
More Music Monday after the jump!
Portland band Us Lights are about to embark on a European tour, and their winning eight-song debut album is going to accompany them, in CD and vinyl versions. We'll have to wait a bit longer for a US release, it sounds like; but in the meantime, here's another preview track. "Mothers Fathers" combines electric and acoustic sounds for a moody, determined piece that is both dirgelike and catchy. Us Lights headline a show at Mississippi Studios tomorrow night before crossing the pond for a tour that will take them through eastern Europe and Vienna's Waves Festival.
More Music Monday—with tracks from Dana Buoy, Shy Girls, and the Fourth Wall—after the jump!
Music Monday has been keeping summer hours lately, so we've got lots to catch up on.
First! Sallie Ford has unveiled the first recording from her solo project—an all-female band that also happens to be called Sallie Ford, but also features Anita Lee Elliot on guitar, Amanda Spring on drums, and Cristina Cano on keys. It's a marked change from her work with the Sound Outside, forgoing the jump and twang in favor of smoldering rock attitude. Ford says, "The song is about games that people play in romantic relationships and how you always want what you can't have." It comes from the first Sallie Ford album, Slap Back, which was produced by Chris Funk and comes out on October 14 on Vanguard.
Next! Portland/Connecticut band Quiet Life's new EP, Housebroken Man, is due out tomorrow on Mama Bird, and here's the title track, which the band recorded here in Portland with Shovels and Rope's Cary Ann Hearst duetting with the band's Sean Spellman. It's a rollicking barrelhouse number; the EP also includes a cover of Townes Van Zandt's "Waiting Around to Die" that features a guest appearance from My Morning Jacket's Jim James. You can check that out at Rolling Stone. Another song, the heartbroken bottom-of-the-bottle ballad "Shaky Hand," just went up over at Paste. Quiet Life play this Wednesday, August 13 at the Doug Fir; I believe it's their first Portland show in many moons.
Stereogum premiered a new one from Yob today—and along the way, they call the Oregon metal group "the best doom band in the world today" after likening them to Mariano Rivera in a distractingly lengthy lede (sometimes, I guess music writers just want to write about baseball). But they're right about Yob being one of the best; their new album, Clearing the Path to Ascend, comes out on September 2 on Neurot Recordings (with a vinyl release on Relapse on September 15), and is poised to bury the metal landscape with the efficiency and thoroughness of an avalanche. Take a listen to the 15 thunderous minutes of "Unmask the Spectre," and get ready for Yob's headlining slot at the upcoming Hoverfest on Saturday, August 23.
We've got the exclusive premiere of the latest from Rap Class, AKA local producer and DJ John Kammerle. "Jenny @ Da Pie Shop" is Rap Class' contribution to the upcoming Gem Drops Four compilation album from local electronic/experimental label Dropping Gems (which you can pre-order here). Building off of a series of samples, Rap Class has created a 3D tunnel of sound, as quick staccato shards and incessant beats move continually toward the listener. Gem Drops Four will celebrate its release with a free daytime party on Sunday, August 10 at the White Owl Social Club. There's more info, and the full roster of performers, here.
Here's Eidolons' "The Magic of Oil Painting," an off-kilter tune with jigsaw turns and unconventional pop anchors. It comes from their brand-new EP The Big Yellow Shirt, which the band is releasing in tandem with another EP, Hard Hang in a Deep Country. Do two EPs make one LP? In this case, maybe so, as Eidolons are celebrating the release of both with a show at Mississippi Studios this Wednesday, July 30. Meanwhile, take a listen to the tangled turns of "The Magic of Oil Painting," which drops you out in the middle of nowhere, then slowly starts to sketch in the details of the map.
Horse Feathers announced their upcoming record, So It Is with Us, on NPR today—it comes out October 21 on Kill Rock Stars, the band's longtime home. Take a listen to first single "Violently Wild," which doesn't break Horse Feathers' chamber-folk mold but casts in in an upbeat light, one that's almost danceable. The album marks a conscious shift away from sadder material, the band's frontman Justin Ringle states. "I had grown weary of talking to people after shows who said that my last record 'helped them through their divorce.' I have always been flattered by that sort of thing, but I realized what I wanted to hear was how my last record helped them 'have a great weekend.' If you have heard any of my previous records you will realize that this transformation from 'divorce' band to 'weekend' band would be a tall order. And it was! I wouldn’t say we’ve become a 'party band' overnight, but I certainly tried to change things a bit."
Portland progressive math punkers U Sco have a new LP, Treffpunkt, due on September 23 on New Atlantis Records. Here's "Iguana House," a full-throttle, coal-burning piston of a track that paints the walls with thick, almost sludgy coats of their hardcore-influenced sound, then paints over them again, and again, and again. The result is something so thickly caked on that you couldn't sandblast it off if you tried. But you won't want to—U Sco's dizzying musical athleticism is something exciting to behold. Head over to their Bandcamp for another equally impressive track, the squalling "Tuskflower."
Portland band Priory haven't exactly kept a high local profile since dropping their self-titled debut in 2011, but it turns out the duo of Brandon Rush and Kyle Sears have been hard at work on further recordings, amassing vast quantities of studio gear, and getting signed to Warner Bros. in the process. Their upcoming major-label platter hasn't been announced yet, but here's "Weekend," a huge-sounding single that plays to the rafters with such universal sentiments like "Hell yeah, I just got paid" and "Forget that I was ever your whipping boy." Taking Rebecca Black's "Friday" to new extremes, "Weekend" will probably be the biggest song to come out of Portland this year. Enjoy it now before we're all sick to death of it.
Hawaii band the Fourth Wall came to Portland two years back, and they've just released a fine new record called Lovely Violence. Take a listen to the title track, a space-cowboy ramble that has more up its sleeve than its laid-back, back-porch strum initially reveals. You can download the full album on Bandcamp for the price of nothing, and the band hopes to have a physical release for Lovely Violence in the coming months.
Purse Candy's album Visions of a Healed Kingdom is on the way, a shimmying collection of electrofunk with its DeLorean dials set straight for 1982. Riding a "Controversy" vamp, here's "Messiah," a dancefloor warmer with buzzy analog synths and disco cowbell. The album was recorded with Fruit Bats/Shins drummer Ron Lewis joining frontman/songwriter Matthew Ellis; synth player Evan Bridges and saxophonist Phillipe Bronchtein round out the ensemble.
Musée Mécanique have announced the release of their long-awaited second album: From Shores of Sleep will come out on Tender Loving Empire on August 26, and it's an album-length composition with ideas and themes that flow into each other. Here's the advance track, "The Lighthouse and the Hourglass," an immaculately orchestrated mini-epic with clockwork arpeggios and a steady build-up that's full of both restraint and commotion. Musée Mécanique are currently undergoing a Kickstarter campaign for the record's physical release; they've made their initial goal but are still raising funds for the album.
Here is the new tune from Just Lions, the title track of their new EP, Great. Okay. It's a snappy, catchy rocker with sing-along (and whistle-along!) hooks, and Just Lions' trademark tinge of melancholy at the edges. The new, three-song EP is a worthwhile glimpse at the Portland band's growth over the past few months, rounded out by a jazzy foray ("Everything Goes Away") and a straight-ahead rocker with some rad guitar runs ("On the Road"). Great. Okay. comes out next week on Monday, June 30, at the band's Ear Candy show at Mississippi Studios—hey, that's produced in conjunction with us here at the Mercury! That one's a totally free show, and Just Lions will be joined by Animal Eyes and Bear & Moose. It's gonna be dope. Don't miss it.
Lots more Music Monday after the jump, including tunes from EDJ, Double-Talk, Nature Thief, and an aperitif from Denver's new album.
On Friday, it was announced that Portland's own Natasha Kmeto has been signed to Federal Prism, the label headed by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek. With the announcement came a first listen to Kmeto's new song, "Inevitable," the title track to Kmeto's forthcoming album that will be released later this year on Federal Prism. Of the signing, Sitek said, "Natasha Kmeto is hands down my favorite producer out there. Writing incredible songs with high emotional cliffs and super bass valleys just happens to be what we need right now. I am in awe and I can't wait see where she leads us next." Pretty high praise. With "Inevitable," Kmeto has made something that's both icy cool and steaming hot, with a minimalist melodic phrase repeated for deep impact.
Lots more Music Monday after the jump, including new songs from Drunk Dad, Ben Nugent, Sinless, La Rivera, Sassparilla, and Castanets!
Sean Flinn and the Royal We are due to drop their second album, The Lost Weekend, on July 15. The album makes use of Flinn's considerable songwriting skills and the ensemble's firepower for an expertly crafted collection of Northwest folk rock. "Heavy Hearts" is no exception, a song that gallops toward natural majesty with "woh-oh-oh" backing vocals and no shortage of handclaps. In other words, it's a perfect song for a near-cloudless June day in Portland.
Renaissance Coalition emcee Slick Devious teamed up with Load B's Milc to form Lightly Salted, and their new record is streaming on Bandcamp. The two emcees ride above silkily retro, stoned-out grooves from the Scorched Earth producer team of Bryce Howard and Ton Jugir for something that's otherworldly, both inviting and unsettling. The full thing's available for free over on Bandcamp, but here's "Osho," a smooth but still somehow aggressive track that at first seems like a chill breeze, then an insistent gale.
Local violinist/guitarist Anna Tivel's second album Before Machines comes out next week, and here's the opening track, the loose and easy "Five Dollar Bill." It bears traces of dusty bluegrass and Tivel's sandy, sunset voice. Tivel plays a record release show this week, at the Old Church this Thursday, June 12.
More Music Monday after the jump, with new ones from Bastard Feast, the Wishermen, Sharks from Mars, and Kaylee Rob!
As reported, excellent Portland band Dolorean is calling it a day after their May 31 show at Mississippi Studios. We'll have more on that in a bit, but in the meantime, here's Dolorean's swansong, "Miami Wine." True to character, the farewell is a downbeat, pensive number that the band describes as "late period Floyd mixes with Chet Baker solitude and Florida Coast desperation," before adding, "Adios friends. Time to disappear." Commence tearful sobbing.
Fen Wik Ren have a new, free EP up on their Bandcamp page: Horrors of World's five songs were home-recorded but they sound anything but lo-fi, featuring muscular production and inventive arrangements that make use of guest vocalists Kelli Schaefer and Johanna Kunin. Here's Kunin joining lead singer Ryan Barrett for "NN2SA," a spare but tightly coiled number with lots of sitar. A Fen Wik Ren full-length was in the works, but they decided to put out this EP for now—as Barrett says, "I thinks it more fun to just continuously record smaller bits nowadays." (I for one celebrate the demise of the arbitrary full-length album format in favor of shorter, more frequent digital releases.) Check out the whole EP for free over on Bandcamp; it's well worth doing so.
Here's one from local female hiphop duo Neka and Kahlo, a track from their upcoming EP, called 7HIRDWAV3 (a title perhaps designed to make newspaper copy editors gnash their teeth). This inventive and appealing track, "Alchemistress," doesn't quite go where you think it will, accumulating a backing-vocal driven breakdown, then metamorphosizing into frantic rock for its middle section. The EP comes out next week; in the meantime, Neka and Kahlo are performing a release show this Thursday at Rotture as part of the "Take Me to Tomorrow" event.
Click the jump for a glimpse of Yob's new one!
Joel Magid's new album Hyenas is an absorbing collection of psych-pop and homegrown melody, with echoes of the phantasmagoric '60s, and a slice of punk-rock DIY-ness for good measure. "Snakes, I Love You" is one of the album's more upbeat numbers, a grimy but catchy slice of basement-prom pop. It's one of Hyenas' many highlights, and the album release show takes place at Habesha on Saturday, May 31. In the meantime, dig in to the full album stream on Bandcamp.
Dorian Duvall (the man behind Onuinu) posted a new track to his Soundcloud. "Feels" is sleeker and more modern than anything that appeared on Onuinu's Mirror Gazer album, with Duvall offering spoken word on top of beats that rise and fall—it's freaky and exciting. Duvall recently left Portland and moved to Harlem, where he's been working on new music; what form his new work will take in the future remains to be seen, but this is a tantalizing preview.
Abrasive rock deconstructionists Drunk Dad refer to their sound as "fuck-you-all wave" (slightly angrier sounding than the burgeoning "funk-you-all wave" school), and here's a prime example with "Light a Fire." Its noisy chaos (with some sound sculpture at the end) burns hard as it goes down, like some bottom-shelf rotgut whiskey, but the release it offers is woozily transcendent. (Read more about Drunk Dad over on Noisey.) The track comes from Drunk Dad's upcoming album Ripper Killer, the band's first full-length, which comes out on Eolian Empire on July 1. In the meantime, Drunk Dad plays the Know on Friday, May 30, and their upcoming LP release show will happen sometime toward the end of June.
Local singer/songwriter Catherine Feeny and drummer Chris Johnedis have recently completed a collaborative album, and here's a fine new track from it—the bold, rhythmic "White Flight," which tackles a sociological topic not easily conveyed in song. "Now I'm grown, I've linked my fate to a new town in a new state," Feeny sings in the final verse, "and there's another winged migration gentrifying and displacing." The song also features vocals from Luz Elena Mendoza, Liz Vice, and Hannah Glavor. Feeny and Johnedis play the local album-release show this Wednesday, May 7, at Mississippi Studios.
Serge Severe and Gen.Erik collaborate with Total Eclipse (the X-Ecutioners) for this new one: "Giant" is a quick moving, turntable-heavy bumper with a rich, kaleidoscopic backing track (check the breakdown at the end) and a ferocious but friendly, fast-moving flow; it'll appear on Severe and Erik's upcoming album, due out later this year. Serge Severe is part of the Welcome to Dillaville tour that hits the Hawthorne Theatre tonight; he's joined by Slum Village and members of the Pharcyde performing as Bizarre Ride Live.
Two new tunes from the indomitable Hornet Leg are up on Bandcamp. Here's "Coronation," a driving power-drill of a song containing both Stones-y blues murk and a Nirvana-like grunge catchiness. Not sure if this pair of songs—the other one's called "Everything Burns"—will be available on a future Hornet Leg physical release (is there any phrase more awkward than "physical release"?), but they're up on Bandcamp for now.
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