SXSW is on the horizon for all of us, so we’re pushing forward with our coverage of acts, hoping we can introduce you to a few folks you might want to catch when you’re out and about. So today, we’ve got Portland’s Foamboy, who are working on getting an album out into the world before the end of the year!
Considering it is unseasonably warm here in Texas, though quite nice, I’m still looking for some sunny day pop to squeeze into my daily playlist, like this new Blue Canopy. This project is helmed by Alex Schiff up in Portland, who was one of the songwriters for Modern Rivals. Guitars twist and churn at the get go, waiting for the percussive element to slide its way into the picture; it creates this natural bob of the head, bouncing with the snappy drum hits. Schiff’s vocals have this wistfulness to them, adding to the dreamy textures applied throughout the track, intermingling with the jangly bounce. Fun way to start out a Thursday, no?
The Internet age makes it nearly impossible to cover all the great music out there, but this new record from That Hideous Sound finally made its way over to me this past weekend. Another great group from the current Maine scene, and this one’s for all you fans of heavy riffs spun through the bedroom wash cycle. What I mean by that is you get this intimacy and recording vibe that makes it seem like its been honed and polished in solitary, though the riff works and musicianship allows every song to loom larger than life. “I Feel Better” is an obvious hit, but as I keep going through, I tend to gravitate towards the title track, “Wasted Life;” there’s something about that tune that just gets me. Wasted Life just dropped via Repeating Cloud Records, so get at it!
There’s tons of great stuff out there in the musical world, but I’d love to turn your attention towards the other Portland…Maine that is. That’s where we meet Midwestern Medicine, that today, release their new album, The Gold Baton. It’s difficult to categorize the sound here, as it’s got lots of little nods here and there. One thing you’ll definitely get from the vocals is this supreme intimacy, that sort of vocal that seeps into your soul. At times, the band feel like a stripped down version of Galaxie 500, with careful guitar work providing this melody that overpowers you, begging you to hit repeat. Spend a little time with this tune, and if you’re taken by it, go give The Gold Baton a listen.
Though I often tout my current affliction for all things loud and/or in the soul genre, it is always nice to be brought back down a bit for something slightly more intimate and focused. Garrett Hobba, who records under the moniker The Soft Hills, has offered a new track called “Maple Smile” which proves to do exactly that. This will be for fans of say airy, Americana inspired music with just the slightest hint of twang driving things forward. It’s definitely helped center me today.
The Soft Hills will release this track as part of a new album entitled Viva Chi Vede due out on July 22nd via Black Spring Records.
I hope you people are enjoying our SXSW interview pieces as things really start to heat up with show announcements and schedules coming out at a rapid pace. It’s crazy that we are seeing what might just be a somewhat “normal” festival this year. I don’t know about you, but I am so very ready to get back out there and discover new music. Today I am carrying on with out interviews, this time from Portland based outfit MAITA. Hit the jump for the full interview with some tunes.
I wonder how one of the bands that sprang out of the early Elephant 6 era could completely miss my radar when they dropped a new release! I aim to rectify that by sharing the Minders newest release in streaming form below. As the title alludes, there’s tons of psychedelic nods throughout, though I’ll be frank, as the album feels a lot sunnier and poppy than you might be led to believe. For example, listen to “Let’s Go Driving!,” which feels like a reimagined Dead tune, spun with sunshine and hooks. Of course, there’s also the more sullen vibes you get on “Astoria,” though I’m a sucker for the buoyant hooks of “Magic Anorak.” If you’re looking for classic indie pop sounds, then dive into Psychedelic Backdrop.
Stop me if I’ve already said this before, but SXSW is just around the corner and it’s time for you to start preparing like we used to back in 2019. We will of course be doing our best to aid in your preparations with our yearly coverage, recommendations, interviews, etc. Today I am pleased to continue or ongoing coverage with an interview from Portland based artist Logan Lynn. Hit the jump for full interview and some new tunes.
Another January release I’m excited about here is the new LP from Portland’s Reptaliens. Now, with this record, the full songwriting was paired down to just Cole and Bambi Browning, and while I’ve enjoyed previous releases, the switch in approach seems to have provided the perfect vehicle for Bambi’s voice. There’s just something coyly playful, but also sort of indifferent in the way each lyric is dropped out there into the world. Her performance in the chorus takes on a softer melodic tone, but I think it has a stunning contrast, giving the sound this sort of solid base to carry on its own adventures. Those little nuances included a mix of spaced guitar licks battling for space with the surfier nots, both constantly pushing to keep track with the voice. This is for sure a tune and a half! Multiverse is out on January 21st via Captured Tracks.
When Captured Tracks drop a new song or album, I’m usually in for a good listen (though I still blame them for the 30 emails a day I get from suburban white kids who “sound like Mac Demarco!”), especially when it has to do with Reptaliens. I remember listening to FM-2030 several years back and wondering where all the hype was for this group, but so it goes right? Well, their first single from the forthcoming was built from nostalgia, but in the songwriting process and the video from Tristan Scott-Behrends; the video employs all sorts of nostalgic nods that any kid growing up in the 80s/90s would surely catch. Musically, I like the subtle pop groups the band bring to the table, as they’ve always done. In a way, it has this sort of lounge-y feel, though with the psychedelic notes, I’m sure you’re envisioning one of those drug-fueled parties with go-go dancers and flickering lightwork coating the walls. Wherever my brain is, I’m enjoying the new tune from the band…and looking forward to Multiverse, which drops on January 21st.