It’s funny that Portland trio Lubec have titled their new EP Against Nature; it feels like the perfect fit to the band’s sound at the moment as they take all these forces and work them against each other. Five seconds into the track and the guitars come crashing through the speakers; it has this discordant math-iness to it, which, in a sense, sort of recalls the style of Braid/Hey Mercedes. But, you contrast that sort of brash artiness with the group’s inclination towards pop sensibility, which is present here through Caroline’s vocal work, juxtaposed with the rougher surface. You could flip that too, talk about the heaviness as it would relate to a thunderous Northwest storm, only to find itself in a calming middle moment, moving to a fade out that forces reflection…it’s the precise way in which this very tune unfolds; the perfect amalgam of nature’s forces, all acting at once, against each other, and yet together. Such is the great execution of this song…and EP. Look for it this Friday via Disposable America.
When I heard this tune, I thought it was a new approach from my old pal Dylan Mondegreen, but I was wrong, as it was Portland act Mondegreen (no relation, oddly). The tune below is this drifting pop song, which immediately reminded me of Beach House in the way it opened up; they play with the same building tension too, though I will admit this track unleashes a little bit of power, ever so carefully towards the song’s latter half. If you’re into discovering bands and such, go check out the group’s most recent LP, Returnity.
While at work on their third album, Sea Caves have opted to switch directions, albeit just by way of a new vocalist. Their songwriting still sounds similar to what you heard on Bright Forest; it still has this woodsy adventurism working within the elegant confines of expansive indie rock sounds. It’s the sort of music that entrances listeners, carrying them away with the guitar chords echoing into the night. But, with Sydney Rohrs now in the mix on vocals, things have changed up a bit, allowing a soft quiet to sweep over the band; it creates a whole new layer of calm that blankets this single. Give it a try, won’t you?
Okay, so I know a lot of Chad’s but this is Chad, the band! It’s the new project from Sarah Lane and her partner Trevor; Sarah appeared on these pages quite a bit not too long ago. The band have only recently formed, and already there’s an EP on the way; it features the slow dance jam below. For me, this song is all about the sonic landscape the band have set up; it relies upon this precision rhythm moments that steady the entire tune, allowing for the guitar to move in and out and provide accents where needed. The important in all of that is that it rights the ship, so to speak, leaving this playground for Lane to put down her smoky vocals as the song bobs and weaves its way through. Their EP will drop later this Fall.
It’s Monday morning and Nathan and I are bummed out to be fully back to work starting tomorrow. As bummed as we may be, we can always try to bolster our moods with some fun, energetic, easy to get into music. Imagine that, my new friends in Portland, New York based The Beekeepers just sent over this new song called “Endless Spiral Notebooks”. It’s a fun, yet simple song full of swirling organs and an overall DIY approach to songwriting. It’s a fresh track for a Monday morning. Enjoy.
Man it’s always nice when a band you can rely on for quality, no frills rock music puts out new music right before the weekend. Today on of our old favorites The Shivas are dropping said rock tune with this new track “Gloria”. As we’ve come to expect from the band, the track features a great psych rock themed, droning rock number with great guitars and reverb. This band continues to be one of those that everyone should have heard about by now.
The Shivas will release new album Dark Thoughts on October 25th via Tender Loving Empire.
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.