I owe the entire listening experience of Shop Regulars to the Woolen Men, who made a nod to the band’s brand new EP, produced by their own Raf. It’s a weird listen, in the best way, as there’s really no way to define the group’s sound…possibly the best compliment I can give. There’s rolling sharp chords that seem almost punk-ish, though they seem a bit crunchier and spastic at times. In the vocal delivery, you get something that, to me, seems very much of the Pacific Northwest, coming across as more spoken word poetry than singing of any sort. I think “7 Winds” is currently my favorite, and perhaps one of the more exploratory pieces of indie rock I’ve come across. Go ahead, get a little off the beaten track with Shop Regulars.
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with the new Lee Corey Oswald album and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites of the year. It’s a glorious guitar pop opus with obvious 90s era Weezer and Nada Surf comparisons. Somehow though the sound is a clear throwback, the band offer just enough of their own take to keep things sounding fresh and new. If my hype train isn’t enough to sell you on the new album, check out the band’s latest single “Head Over Heels” and enjoy.
Lee Corey Oswald will release new album Darkness, Together on October 12th via A-F Records.
Schaus is an artist from the Portland region, crafting pop music as he sits fit. Recently, he released an EP title Quite Okay, and quietly its slid into my musical rotation. His voice has some fluxuating tones, moving up and down in his register, occasionally following with rapidity like its trying to catch up with someone. Musically, he’s employing electronic elements to give the track a natural bounce, which contributes to a sense of playfulness…something that’s always important for this listener. The video takes some autobiographical ideas and turns them into a natural story that follows the track’s theme of appreciating and being appreciated…or does it? Schaus won’t let on as to how much is truth, but does it really matter? You’ll get lost in the song, regardless.
Portland based group Alien Boy has slowly been growing a buzz about their debut album coming out at the end of the week. Thought I haven’t posted any of the band’s latest singles, they’ve already released a few prior to this solid jam today. This new track “I Just Can’t Feel It” blends some of the popular elements of shoegaze with a more goth-pop sound which gives it something fresh to offer. I think I shall spend the rest of the day with this song and album.
Alien Boy will release Sleeping Lessons on August 31st on Tiny Engines.
Loose is a brand new act out of Portland, but the various members all have quite a pedigree of their own. Together they’ve just announced their debut LP, pulling in from all sorts of areas to get me excited. There’s an obvious element that definitely wears the badge of the Pacific Northwest, be it the way the melody is used or the sounds as a whole. But, they also throw in these math rock-y spasms, not unlike Pinback, though here it’s pushed much faster and angrier. Exciting things on the horizon from this act…hear for yourself.
Happy Monday kids. If you’re a bit like me, you’re not quite ready for the week to begin so maybe a little dark pop music would be a good way to start the day? Portland based group Soft Kill will be the ones to deliver this much needed sound with their new song “Hard Candy. It’s a truly beautifully crafted song in the vein of post-punk or new wave with a more modern and polished feel to it. I’ve already played it 3 times and it’s only 8:15 (when I made the post).
This song will appear on new LP Savior dropping on May 11th via Profound Lore Records.
A friend of a friend suggested I check into Little Star; I’m glad I have friends with good tastes. The Portland band have just released their Even In Dreams EP, with some sonic similarities to New Order on the opening track…though they push off in different directions as the EP progresses. For instance, “Jacks” has this airy bedroom pop quality, using a minimal set up to craft a quick emotional joy. Definitely a band to keep an eye on at the moment; you can grab the new EP from them on Bandcamp.
Just as I was lamenting a shortage of great indiepop vibes in the 2018, it looks like the world was destined to prove me wrong. Today A Certain Smile announce the release of their debut album, bringing the sound of Portland’s indiepop to our ears. The track rushes forward from the get-go, employing little touches of shoegaze in the guitar to go along with more traditional jagged lines stabbing through the mix. Vocals from Thomas Andrew provide that fireside warmth that pop fans crave, sending out wave after wave of melodious lines through your speakers. The debut album Fits and Starts will be released by the band on March 9th, and it’s sure to be a gem.
We wrote about The Late Great awhile ago, and now the band’s Sarah Lane has reached out to share a track from her forthcoming solo effort. For me, the winning part of the track comes from Lane’s vocal performance; it has this vibrance that stands out, even when delivering lines like “I’ve been broken like a tree.” Interestingly, the accompanying video for the single has Sarah laughing off her trials and tribulations, wearing a charming smile all about her home city of Portland. You’ll find yourself captivated by the strum of the guitar, but you’ll circle back again and again to hear that voice. Look for the EP to drop sometime this Spring.
You may be sick of me talking about Portland based band Small Leaks Sink Ships, but I just can’t stop myself from posting their latest, and likely last single, from the new album. This one has a lot more power and aggression behind it when compared to some of the more melodic and mellow tracks previously shared. Yeah “Dear John Connor” plays the game of power immediately followed by more quiet parts very nicely. Love what these guys are doing.
New album Golden Calf is out October 13th via Lefse Records.