Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

Portland’s Faustina Masigat has a background in traditional music, having spent her college years studying and learning in a rigorous training program. It was when she left that behind, though, that the songwriter, vocalist, and instrumentalist was truly able to find her own voice. After a couple years of writing and reflecting, Masigat is preparing to share that voice with the wider world with her forthcoming self-titled debut album.

Ahead of the album’s release, Masigat has shared a new song, “Stay With Me.” A simply rendered love song, “Stay With Me” showcases Masigat’s delicate vocals, contemplative songwriting, and affection for the intimacy brought forth from a worn-out guitar or an imperfect take. Throughout the song, player Tucker Jackson answers Masigat’s voice with ethereal pedal steel.

“’Stay With Me’ was my attempt at writing a love song, in the very traditional sense,” Masigat says. “It was originally recorded as a duet, but over time it made less and less sense conceptually to have any vocals other than my own on the album. Ben Nugent, who mixed the record, encouraged me to keep the songs self contained in this way, to dig into that intimacy instead of obscuring it.”

For Faustina Masigat, Masigat enlisted Portland’s Ryan Lewis, Ben Nugent, and Timothy Stollenwerk to bring these new tunes to life in the studio. The album is out April 6th via Mama Bird Recording Co.

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releases April 6th, 2018

Faustina Masigat: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Keys
Tucker Jackson: Pedal Steel
Nate Szytel: Percussion
Dan Bindschedler: Cello
Tyler Maxwell Bussey: Banjo
Rian Lewis: Electric Guitar

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ALELA DIANE – ” Cusp “

Posted: February 12, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Alela Diane has a new album out titled “Cusp”

“This music is about motherhood,” Alela says of her highly anticipated fifth album Cusp. “Even just by saying that, it feels like people will write you off. It’s like you’ve suddenly lost the charm of being youthful and even attainable––you’ve been commoditized as available. There is not a big place in the music industry for 30-something women with kids making music.” She laughs as she pauses, then adds, “Maybe we can create that space.”

If anyone can carve out needed new territory, it’s Alela. Cusp may be a thematic departure for the Portland, Oregon-based artist, The new 11-song collection was born during Alela’s three-week artist residency at Caldera in Oregon during January 2016. The time was a revelation to Alela, who’d been consumed with her then two-year-old daughter and had found little time to create. In a small A-frame cabin deep within Caldera’s snowy woods, alone for the first time since becoming a mother, she tended to a wood stove, made soup, rediscovered how to be on her own, and wrote songs. “I was just coming back to myself and learning how to take care of me,” she says. “It was really wonderful to be able to get back in touch with my creative side and just reflect on the intensity of what I’d been going through, becoming a mom––reflecting on that from a space where I wasn’t inside of it.”

Early in her Caldera stay, Alela broke her thumbnail while shoveling snow, and her signature finger-picking guitar became a challenge. She had noticed a grand piano in the main lodge and wondered: Why not write songs there? The result is the most piano-driven album of her career, fueled by that energy that only comes with facing and falling in love with something new. “It definitely felt different,” Alela says of composing for the first time on the piano, pointing to the visibility of chords that keys allow, especially when compared to guitar. “It was pretty freeing to get out of my normal habits that I usually fall back into when I write on guitar.”

Alela recorded most of Cusp at Flora Playback and Recording while pregnant with her and her husband’s second daughter, who was born in February 2017. Produced by Peter M. Murray and mixed by Noah Georgeson, the album features contributions from heavyweights including Ryan Francesconi (Joanna Newsom), Rob Burger (Iron & Wine), Peter Broderick, Heather Woods Broderick (Sharon Van Etten), Luke Ydstie (Blind Pilot), and Daniel Hunt (Neko Case).

 

The February weekend that Cusp was mixed in Los Angeles, Alela planned to be there. Instead, she went into labour––five weeks early. Severe complications ensued, and in a harrowing twist, Alela almost died giving birth to her little girl. “I have never felt so grateful to be alive as I do now,” she says. “I hope that by exploring motherhood in song, I can help demand respect for the life givers we are. Talking and singing about the experience of motherhood is not something I can shy away from. It is the essence of who we are as human beings. This album is my version of women’s work.”

When Alela releases Cusp in February 2018, it will mark exactly one year since her near-death, new-life experience. “Life and death meet in a cusp,” Alela says. “The two are intrinsically linked. My second daughter was born on the cusp.”

Cusp explores the weight and beauty of creating life. Album opener “Albatross” bemoans the pain of leaving her daughter behind for a promotional tour––a heartache she’d never experienced. “The chorus is a reference to flying overseas and having to leave my kid at home, the intensity of that,” she says. Forlorn but also imbued with wonder and acceptance, the song is a perfect example of Alela’s ability to capture the nuances of an experience. Gorgeous “Move Us Blind” delves into our complicated relationship with time, while “Buoyant”––which Alela says “surprised her”––is rich with the vivid imagery her loyal listeners have come to expect.

Throughout the record, Alela refuses to stray from her perspective as a mother and woman. “These songs are about a really different moment in my life than my earlier work, which was more rooted in being young, innocent, curious––I was reflecting on the past and the magic of youth.” “Song for Sandy” was written for British singer Sandy Denny who died shortly after the birth of her daughter. Triggered by the drowned Syrian toddler who washed up on a Turkish shore, Alela penned the haunting “Emigré” in response to the international refugee crisis. Moody “Never Easy” tackles Alela’s complex relationship with her own mother, a recurring theme throughout her albums.

Alela Diane – Ether & Wood (Official Video) Album ‘Cusp’ is now available

A rare “love song” from Anna Tivel. “Dust & Magic” is a song about loving someone, learning their colors, their depths. It’s about trying to see someone honestly, even when they’re hard to see. It’s about knowing and hoping the person you love can find their way back from a darker place, believing in the raw power of their beautiful spirit

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Haley Heynderickx‘s songs have a way of sneaking up on you: They start out spare, animated by a lone voice or a subtly snaky guitar line, only to billow out into something strange, beautiful, bracingly intense or some combination thereof.  This Portland, Ore., singer hasn’t even released her first album —” I Need To Start A Garden” comes out in March yet she’s already an utterly distinct and wonderfully nervy, idiosyncratic presence.

In the run-up to I Need To Start A Garden, Heynderickx today releases the album’s third single, a slow-building eight-minute wonder called “Worth It.” Opening with a few long oooooooohs that conjure images of maybe Sharon Van Etten, “Worth It” at first seems to echo from down a hallway, only to pull in closer and closer as it rolls along, its initial tentativeness giving way to something commanding and sublime.

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“I was living in a house with six women at the time and attempting to pursue music as more than a bedroom act, Heynderickx writes . “In this, I was struggling to find confidence and purpose in it. Writing ‘Worth it’ was a cathartic release at the time, just allowing myself to take up space and make as much noise as I could in our basement without driving my roommates too crazy. After several weeks, this song got carved out. It has been through a lot and it means something new to me each time I hear it.

releases March 2nd, 2018

The Band: 
Haley Heynderickx – Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitar
Lily Breshears – Electric Bass, Piano, Backing Vocals
Tim Sweeney – Upright Bass, Electric Bass
Phillip Rogers – Drums & Percussion, Backing Vocals
Denzel Mendoza – Trombone, Backing Vocals

All songs written by Haley Heynderickx

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Raised on a steady diet of sarah records singles, slumberland noise pop, and creation-era shoegaze, Portland’s A Certain Smile work hard to find that balance between the sweet twee, the fuzzy gaze, and punky pop

Thomas Andrew, band leader of A Certain Smile, is a man on a mission to keep the Portland indie-pop scene alive; whether he’s playing records at the Toffee Club Sunday Brunch, or putting out his radio show on Freeform Radio or fronting his band, he’s always keeping the jangly, fuzzy, indie-pop flame burning. Originally formed back in 2002, A Certain Smile are in some ways an homage to the music Thomas loves, labels like Slumberland and Sarah’s Records, bands like Velocity Girls and McCarthy; their influence is all over the band’s upcoming debut album, Fits And Starts. That record is out next month.

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Discussing the inspiration behind the track, Thomas suggests that it is,  “about long distance love and the inequities of separation.” Atop a backing of energetic blurring drums, reverberating guitar lines and driving bass, Thomas’ vocal carries a tale of missed phone calls, changing lifestyles and the joy of getting the call and slipping right back into love. It’s a perfect blend of the melancholic and the romantic seemingly free of musical fads and trends.

There are those who will argue this record is some sort of retro-throwback, the final dying scream of a genre on its last legs, yet when it is done this well, it’s hard to do anything but embrace the jangle and enjoy a perfect indie-pop song.

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Ever since his wonderful debut album ‘Dolls of Highland’ was released on Sub Pop Record in 2016, Kyle Craft has been a critic’s dream. Based in Portland, he serves up all the observational, storytelling talent with none of the attitude that so often comes with male singer-songwriter territory. “I’ve found my place,” he says. “I’m not one of those people that approaches music for anyone other than myself. My favorite part about music is when it’s just me and a notebook.” Speaking of, his second forthcoming album ‘Full Circle Nightmare’ is entirely autobiographical. Sonically, thematically, lyrically, it’s a huge leap forward from his 2016 release.
The title ‘Full Circle Nightmare’ refers to a moment where Craft saw his life for what it is and told himself to be satisfied. “But that’s nightmarish to me,” he laughs. He described his debut record as: “like walking down this long hall of bizarre characters and surreal experiences, moving through the spider web of love and loss.” This album is when you get to the end of that hallway, turn around and see all the stuff you’ve been through, then walk through the door, close it and start a new chapter in an even crazier hallway. A straight-up rollicking rock’n’roll album, it traverses all the different nuances of the genre; from the bluegrass twang of ‘Exile Rag,’ to the gothic style..of ‘Gold Calf Moan,’ it’s a timeless piece that could exist in any of the past five decades.

In terms of contemporary peers, Craft likes to stay in his own lane. He’s an old soul who sticks to his tried and tested influences. Social media is not his game – it’s just not interesting to him. He’s not fussed about preaching his politics or discussing the status quo either. “I don’t really like writing a time piece. I don’t wanna get trapped in the ‘Donald Trump era of Kyle Craft,’ you know? I’m a very off-the-grid sort of person. As much as I am traveling across this giant place sometimes I just feel so outside of it. Also, I’m not necessarily a stand-up citizen so it’s hard for me to say: here’s Kyle Craft’s America, ladies and gentlemen.” 

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The ironic thing is that ‘Full Circle Nightmare’ sounds exactly like Kyle Craft’s America. That is what he’s built for us: the story of one man’s trials and tribulations to find his passion and voice for art and creativity in this vast opportunistic country. Where did he find it? Among the historic riches of America’s most honest sounds.

Typhoon‘s colossal and ambitious fourth LP Offerings is available everywhere . The album, which follows the journey of a man struggling to cope with the loss of his memories, has already garnered praise from NPR, Stereogum, and more for its unmatched lyricism and profound storytelling.

“Good lord this Typhoon album is brilliant…haven’t cried listening to a record since [Sufjan Stevens’].” Offerings is truly a wise and ruminative record.” – Bob Boilen, NPR

“The first compelling album of 2018”  – Daily Mail (★★★★)

Typhoon has succeeded in creating a profoundly human and poetic masterpiece on the edge of the concrete, which despite all its ambition remains multi-layered and cohesive at the same time (…) Rarely ever has forgetting been set to a better soundtrack and more appropriately staged than on this album. 9/10″ – Plattentests

“… one of the most ambitious, delicate, heartbreaking recordings ever.” – Vortex Magazine

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“As early as we are into 2018 as we may be, Offerings already stands as a rare example of a band shooting for a terrifyingly ambitious album that not only holds up to that immense pressure, but exceeds expectations and succeeds on multiple levels, both grand and subtle. If you haven’t been paying attention to Typhoon already, it’s time to change that. 9/10”

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Another Amazing record from Portland’s Mo Troper. It’s a well crafted slice of power pop where every song has it’s place and no tune overstays it’s welcome. More people should be striving to write the kind of timeless and insanely catchy music this guy seems to throw out like it’s as easy and automatic as putting pants on in the morning

This is Mo Troper’s second album it may not change the world, but it’s pristine orchestral pop will restore your faith in it. This is wide-eyed, wide-screen beautiful stuff likely influenced by albums by Jellyfish, Jeremy Egnik and Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground. released November 17th, 2017

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The Band :
mo troper: vocals, guitar, keys, bass, drums
jackson machado: guitar
ben burwell: bass
asher mcKenzie: drums
additional musicians:
lee ellis: keys
shannon rose steele: violin, viola
lily breshears: vocals
zach banks: cello
anthony meade: trombone
corey palacois: trumpet

Filthy Friends is the sound of music being made free of expectations, free of fear for how it will be received, free of any and all bullshit that has become lingua franca of the modern music industry. Filthy Friends is the product of like minded individuals with nothing to prove getting together and making a heroic racket together that finds space for their many influences and interests.

The band is lucky in that regard. Their legacies in the music world are comfortably secured. Lead singer Corin Tucker has left an indelible mark on the punk scene through her memberships in Sleater-Kinney and Heavens to Betsy. Guitarist Kurt Bloch has logged a lot of hours as the leader of The Fastbacks, as well as serving as a producer/mentor for up and coming Seattle rock groups. Drummer Bill Rieflin has a fine day job as one of the drummers in King Crimson. Bassist Scott McCaughey keeps plenty busy doing studio work and mining the power pop underground with his long-running band the Young Fresh Fellows. As for the other guitarist Peter Buck…if you’re unfamiliar with him, you haven’t been paying attention to the last 30 years of alternative/college/indie rock. (He used to be in R.E.M.)

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EYELIDS – ” 854 “

Posted: December 30, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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EYELIDS have a collective history of creating music for some of the most legendary indie songwriters. These longtime Portland, Oregon collaborators were not only the principal instrumentalists for Robert Pollard’s post Guided By Voices band Boston Spaceships for over eight releases, but they have also worked with Stephen Malkmus, The Decemberists, Elliott Smith, Sam Coomes of Quasi, Black Prairie, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Loch Lomond, Damien Jurado and Peter Buck (who is producing their upcoming EP this Fall).

Principal songwriters John Moen and Chris Slusarenko have turned inwards to their loves of New Zealand/Flying Nun guitar buzz, their teenage L.A. Paisley Underground obsessions, haunts of early Athens and all things beautiful, lopsided and rock. Along with members Jonathan Drews (guitar), Jim Talstra (bass) and Paulie Pulvirenti (drums) they push and pull against each other’s songwriting, in a beautiful tension that just works. Their critically celebrated debut 7”vinyl Seagulls Into Submission got airplay everywhere from BBC Radio to WFMU and was also included in MOJO Magazine’s Editors Picks of The Month. This single, as well as the accompanying video, is just a hint of what Eyelids are all about.

With 13 songs, most of them clocking in at less than 2 1/2 minutes, their debut album ‘854’ is full of what Eyelids describes as “sweet melodies and bummer vibes”. ‘854’ makes us remember when our favorite songs were both melancholy and buoyant—those same songs that could make you feel justifiably sad and later make you feel incredibly happy and empowered. That’s what these guys are onto. And, although they are on their own trip, they’ve been compared to Love, Dinosaur Jr., Big Star, and even early R.E.M. Good company. This is the spirit that comes alive in Eyelids songs: the Beatles meets Television jangle of “Psych #1,” the wistful pleas of “Abby’s Friends,” the beat-your-head-on-the-dashboard croon of “Forget About Tomorrow” and the deserted desperate cries that propel “Say It’s Alright”. And as you listen, you will soon find out that Eyelids’ music is seriously catchy, haunting and uniquely their own.

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