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).
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.
Portland’s the Prids open their latest single with an ominous building of tones. But, don’t let that fool you, as they turn towards a glimmering pop bent once they reach the song’s chorus. It completely allows the band to walk the fine line between post-punk sensationalism and indiepop…perhaps post-pop? Whatever it is, the production is great throughout; I love how the guitar chords seem so faint, yet so present. Still, it’s all about that great chorus. This song features on the band’s new album, Do I Look Like I’m In Love, but you can also catch them out on the road with our faves, PoBPaH.
As we ease into the weekend, I’m looking for some songs to relax to before the impending stress of football season sets in. Well I had to look no further when the guys in Landlines sent me their latest single “Some Ocean or Great Lake”. The Portland outfit remind me quite a bit of early Weezer if they somehow managed to be even more chill and lackadaisical. This is slacker rock at its finest.
Landlines have a new self-titled LP coming out physical on September 28th. Pre-order here.
Portland based outfit Small Leaks Sink Ships has been garnishing some positive praise around these parts for the last month or so. Their songs manage to be quite simplistic while still offering huge amounts of creativity and power. Take this new track “Psychotic Opera” for example. It’s slow and steady at the beginning with a beat on repeat, and then the drums come in and the song becomes something a little bit different. I’m continually impressed with what these guys are doing.
Once again, you can pick up Golden Calf on October 13th via Lefse Records.
I’m not always one for videos, but when they are as beautifully done as this one from Portland based Small Leaks Sinks Ships, I’ve got to share. The video for “Dancing Devil” can at times be a bit creepy with a shadowy, all black creature following a blindfolded young lady around a lake front cabin. The visuals play nicely with the dance inducing, head nodding worthy beats of the song. It’s sort of like old school Cold War Kids or even a Portugal the Man. Well done lads.
Wow. Just wow. This new song from Shelley Short is really hitting all the feelings for me this afternoon. It’s not something you would typically hear on our site, but the absolute beauty of this song is simply too good not to share. When listening to “Death”, I’m reminded of old school country artists like Dolly Parton or Emmylou Harris. One could even draw a close comparison to a local Austinite like Dana Falconberry.