Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

Snow Roller are an indie garage rock band from Portland. We were big fans of their anthemic debut LP, 2016’s What’s The Score, as well as last year’s follow-up XXL. They will soon release their third album Y2K, and this week they dropped a fantastic new single called “Bus 23.”

Coming off the heals of “Kings of Hartford,” the album’s sweeping first single, “Bus 23” is a steady uptempo rocker featuring rollicking guitar riffs and singer Collin Kritz’s direct, assured vocals. Meanwhile, Snow Roller’s newest member, bassist Sarah Hall, harmonizes beautifully with Kritz over the track’s catchy, heartfelt choruses. The song reminisces about a childhood friend who Collin lost contact with, and wonders whatever became of him. “Tried to say that I’m sorry to him but/ He wouldn’t accept it,” they croon together, pangs of regret and nostalgia seeping through in each vivid lyrical line. Also, the closing section of the track reaches a dramatic, stripped-down breakdown in which Hall and Kritz trade off the lines: “I wonder if I’ll ever see him/ I wonder if I’ll ever see him ever again.” It’s a cathartic conclusion to a single that waxes nostalgic on the embarrassments of youth, and a total triumph for Snow Roller.

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Collin Kritz-Guitar, Vox
Sarah Hall-Bass, Vox
Nathan Tucker-Drums

Y2K comes out on September 28th on Near Mint/Slang Church. listen to “Bus 23” and previous single “Kings of Hartford” 

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One of Portland’s finest, Woolen Men are back with a new record, and a reminder that their blend of dusty indie rock and post-punk is as good as it gets. It’s been three years since the trio released the spectacular Temporary Monument and the subsequentOptions EP(as well as last year’s tour tape collection Lucky Box), and the return is more than welcome. Post, due out September 1st via Dogs Table Records, is a reflection of a post-everything mentality, and judging by the first single, one of our most anticipated album’s this year .

“Brick Horizon,” the album’s opener is built on a krautrock rhythm, grooving with razor sharp propulsion. The band continue to blend motorik rigidness with twangy fuzz, an offsetting feeling that they’ve mastered over the years. The vocals add a casually human element to their rumbling onslaught, singing “there’s no escaping the rust, surrender to it” void of emotion, but not without feeling. The pulse never shifts, but Woolen Men colour it with melodic nuances, pulling elements from garage and folk in equal measure, reshaping their influences into their own widescreen punk. Woolen Men are a national treasure, and with an upcoming European tour this September together with Honey Bucket, they are soon to be an international treasure.

Attention European bookers, the band are coming over… now it’s just a matter of bringing them to your town, get in touch at jorge@wearehellyeah.com.

I haven’t been this excited about an album in a long time. “Brick Horizon” is a perfect song. Can’t wait to hear the rest!

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The Band:
Raf Spielman – Drums
Alex Geddes – Bass
Lawton Browning – Guitar
New Woolen Men Record from on Dog’s Table. 
Releases September 1st, 2018

Portland’s Alien Boy Turns Heartbreak and Rejection into Catharsis one track “Somewhere Without Me”
Having some killer post-punk guitar tone and sensational, swirling melodies delivered through Sonia Weber’s exceptional vocals is just the cherry on top of the band’s cathartic sundae. The LP’s first single, “Somewhere Without Me,” might just be one of the best distillations of how the band can turn their sadness into heart-swelling, relatable anthems.

Portland’s Alien Boy may be a new band, but Sonia Weber has long been part of the city’s independent music scene. With Alien Boy, she culls from her self-ascribed influences such as Alkaline Trio, The Wipers, and The Smiths, finding ways to take bits of these disparate sounds and make them her own.

Horse Feathers feels like a secret you don’t really want to share. Over twelve years and five albums, a passionate fan base has experienced this band as a precious commodity that they want to keep close to their hearts. One reason for this can be found in lead singer Justin Ringle’s distinctive voice, at once vulnerable and piercing, and in the quality of the music: gorgeous, lush string arrangements surrounding stark, visceral lyrics whose bite makes a piquant juxtaposition to the surrounding beauty.

Now, however, Horse Feathers has created an album that differs enough from its predecessors to suggest that the cat might get out of the bag. On Appreciation, their sixth full-length and the fifth on venerable independent label Kill Rock Stars, the signifiers of the band are there: Ringle’s warm tenor and lyrics that speak of work, love, and other struggles. But on this album less of the song dynamics are achieved with strings and more with an exciting new rhythm section steeped in Northern Soul. Longtime violinist Nathan Crockett and keyboardist Dustin Dybvig provide continuity, but much of Appreciation feels like the best of Ringle’s previous musical ideas just took a giant step into a larger arena.

Recorded primarily in Kentucky (at La-La Land Studios in Louisville and Shangri-La Studios in Lexington), the new album features instrumentalists J. Tom Hnatow, Robby Cosenza and R&B vocalist Joslyn Hampton, who helped make Appreciation a mixture of strutting ‘70s-style country-pop (“Without Applause,” “Don’t Mean To Pry”) and supple soul (“Best To Leave,” “Evictions”). But Horse Feathers hasn’t gained accessibility at the expense of quality, nor at the expense of their signature instrumentation (“The Hex” might be the only R&B/soul song where the rhythmic lead is played on banjo). For those who crave what NPR called “the densely pretty seethe of Horse Feathers’ earlier ballads”, the album delivers “Born in Love” and “On the Rise”, accentuating the string surge with Hammond organ, piano, tambourine, and finger snaps.

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“It just felt like a fresh take on how my songs can come across,” Ringle says. “With this incarnation, it’s okay if what I’m doing right now is in fact kind of a pop song. I can have a chorus and repeat something. I’m more aware of that and enjoy it.”

This artistic adjustment comes in the wake of a lot of changes in Ringle’s life. Not too long ago, he left his former hometown of Portland for the coastal city Astoria, Oregon. He’s also been dipping his toes into the world of record production, helping North Carolina band River Whyless with the recording of their last album We All The Light. After a while of bouncing between three states, as well as stops in Camas, Washington to finish Appreciation with longtime compatriot Skyler Norwood at Miracle Lake Studios, Ringle is finally settling down just in time to get ready to hit the road with Horse Feathers in support of this new album. “I wanna get out there and do my job,” he says.

Diehard fans are going to find plenty to cherish on Appreciation. But they’re going to have to make room in the club house for a lot more people – with this album, the Horse Feathers secret is officially out.

Horse Feathers:
Justin Ringle: songs, vocals, guitar, banjo
Nathan Crockett: violin, viola
J. Tom Hnatow: bass, pedal steel, guitar, rhodes
Robby Cosenza: drums, percussion
Halli Anderson: vocals, violin
Dustin Dybvig: piano, synths, percussion
Lee Carroll: piano, wurlitzer, hammond
Jenn Crockett: clarinet, bass clarinet
Joslyn Hampton: vocals
Chriss Dennison: vocals
Appreciation is out May 4th, 2018 on Kill Rock Stars.

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Los Angeles-via-Portland singer-songwriter Sharaya Summers is hyperaware of the suffering going on around her, and feels it all to the core. In her newest single “Easy Life,” Summers sings about being handed a good life, but being so burdened by the pain of others. This is a song of empathy, even tinged with a bit of guilt. With influence pouring out from Laurel Canyon songwriting, along with dreamy guitars and reverb-drenched vocals, “Easy Life” is an unmistakably easy listen. But underneath these layers, there is a subtext of desperation and disillusionment. Summers sings, “Tell me to believe that there’s meaning/ That it all works out in the end.” As she makes this plea, Sharaya Summers still manages to deliver a glimpse of hope. Be on the lookout for her EP set to be released later this year.

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Sharaya Summers, tells a story of disillusionment, dysfunction and discovery. As her debut single ‘Light of the Moon’ rapidly gained over half a million streams on Spotify, she prepares to release her full EP in mid 2018.

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The Orange Kyte is an experimental music project with a manifesto to release music in various shapes and forms varying in fidelity and approach but always drawing heavily from a love of ethereal tones, fuzz, reverberation and all things psychedelic. Introducing Stevie Moonboots and a revolving cast of collaborators and cohorts, musical and otherwise. Vancouver, British Columbia’s The Orange Kyte is an exercise in boundless sonic tomfoolery with an emphasis on mind expansion and continuous evolution.

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Little Cloud Records was founded in October 2016 by Mike Nesbitt, Josiah Webb and Mike’s twin brother, Joe. What started as a way to release Magic Shoppe records has become a vehicle for releasing vinyl for other bands we dig. This includes releases from Pete International Airport (Pete Holmström of Dandy Warhols), New Candys (dark psych rockers from Venice, Italy), The Orange Kyte (tripped-out Irish transplants living in Vancouver, BC), Firefriend (São Paulo psych warlords) , Heaven (Brooklyn based psych rock) and Arizona’s Wiccan Godesses, Burning Palms. 
 
We’re partnering with a Portland, OR vinyl based plant and Joe runs a Chicago based printing facility. This allows us to produce all records, printing jacket design / printing and vinyl pressing in-house. We have been established by Cobraside in the United States and Fuzz Club Records in the UK. For digital distribution we use our own department to plaster your bit Across the usual suspects … like Spotify, iTunes, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music and many more.
 

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

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Portland-based Haley Heynderickx has been making waves with her spirited musings on self reflection, religion, and growth. Her new single, “Worth It,” explores the difficulties of defining oneself in the shadow of other’s expectations. The ways in which the song unwinds itself, with a faster tempo in a dramatic buildup, is reminiscent of the triumphant feeling of overcoming those anxieties. Over winding guitar riffs, she sings, “Maybe I’ve, maybe I’ve been selfish/ Or maybe I’ve, maybe I’ve been selfless / Maybe I’ve, maybe I’ve been worthless, or / Maybe I’ve, maybe I’ve been worth it.”

Heynderickx informed a little bit about the song’s origin story. “I was living in a house with six women at the time and attempting to pursue music as more than a bedroom act,” she wrote. “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.

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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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