Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

Last March, the Portland singer-songwriter’s West Coast jaunt in support of his third album “Natural Beauty” was cut short. Then, his Midwest and East Coast shows were postponed as the pandemic wiped out live music for the foreseeable future. Steeped in punchy power-pop hooks, dissonant harmonies and tinges of ’60s orchestral rock, Natural Beauty is something of an ode to the music of Troper’s teenage years, including the White Album, his favourite Beatles record, and fellow Portland indie band Dear Nora.

Troper played most of the instruments on the album himself, and penned a majority of the 12 tracks after returning to Portland from a yearlong stint living in L.A. “If there’s a theme for the album,” he says, “it’s getting back in touch with my Portland roots.”

But the 28-year-old isn’t the least bit bitter about having to put the promotion for his latest release indefinitely on hold. “With COVID, and the protests, there are much more important things going on,” he says. “It just doesn’t feel like the right time to be promoting [anyway].”

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This year has been nuts and I’m bummed I wasn’t able to tour, but I really appreciate all the support I’ve received. If you’ve listened to my music at any point over the last year, please know that I really appreciate you. Not to be too self-deprecating but it’s still wild to me that people actually take the time to listen to my songs. Much love and happy holidays, and hopefully see you irl next year, 
-Mo

Releases December 25th, 2020
written, produced, and mixed by Mo Troper

Post-punk five piece, Portland’s Soft Kill share their second single “Pretty Face” from their forthcoming November 2020 release “Dead Kids, R.I.P. City”, their long awaited follow up to 2018’s ‘Savior’. Says the band’s Tobias Grave, “‘Pretty Face’ was written immediately after finding out about the loss of our friend Zachary Delong. It recounts some time we spent together on the edge of oblivion, late 2011 into the first weeks of 2012. Survivors guilt pouring out into song form” – ‘Relax your pretty face boy, the pain has left you.’

“We shot this to be a lyric video but we worked in some scenes, starting in Washington and traveling into the far north section of Portland, stopping by the abandoned dog track at Portland Meadows and ending at the motel made famous by Drugstore Cowboy. The imagery will resonate with some, I’m sure. The song is one we’ve played live for two years and it’s got a big cult following without ever having a studio version circulating.”

“Pretty Face” encapsulates listeners with it’s steady pulse of bass and cinematic-like guitar melodies, taking a slightly left field approach to post-punk with its triumphant and upbeat energy while still channelling the doom/gloom sound Portland’s Soft Kill has built their identity around. The song reflects the darker side of what the band has experienced the past few years. The single follows Soft Kill’s return last month when they dropped the lead doom pop single “Roses All Around.” It’s dark yet luminous in every sense, from its driving percussive beats, harmonic grooves and melodies, while also creating an opportunity to openly discuss its sociopolitical message that is especially prominent now as Portland has become the epicenter of unrest these past few months.

With this meme making the rounds recently, I wanna take this opportunity to come out and say I prefer whatever wave of new wave we’re on in 2020 to either The Cure or The Smiths—or New Order, for that matter. In a post-genre world, it’s bands like Soft Kill (who I first caught wind of when they toured with a black metal band) who I turn to when I want to listen to some weighted-blanket rock, and the morbid, post-punky first single from their new record, which conflates death and ecstasy in its final thirty seconds, has me posing as the seasons change while delegates for Robert Smith and Morrissey duke it out in the replies.

“Dead Kids, R.I.P. City” is out November 20th, 2020 

Released by Cercle Social Records.

I got into Floating Room last year when her “Ant” demo proved to be my favourite listening take away from the 2019 Post-Trash comp. Getting to know Maya Stoner’s project from this woozy lo-fi recording, it was cool to ease into some of the songwriter’s hi-er-fi stuff, notably and nominally her re-recording of a 2016 track for an October EP, which sounds just as sleepy and welcoming of a cozy demise as its more ambient predecessor. What starts off as something you’d expect to hear covered on Post-Trash sort of wanders back into ambient territory in the final thirty seconds or so, as the guitar-drums-bass give way to extraterrestrial squeals. our new single, Warm Death (HIFI) today! You may recognize this one from the first FR album, Sunless, which was recorded in my bedroom. Mo Troper who produced this album had the idea to re-record it in a studio pianos and all and I’m glad we did.

Floating Room is the musical project of Portland based multidisciplinary Uchinanchu American artist and DIY veteran Maya Stoner. Their latest EP, “Tired and True”, was written by Stoner and recorded in the summer of 2019 against a backdrop of intense personal transition.

Lead single “Held Open Door” is a meditation on dimming innocence set to jagged guitar pyrotechnics à la Deerhunter and Television. “Freakshow” is a self-professed “pop hit” concerning Stoner’s perceived pariahdom within Portland’s blindingly white, furtively racist punk scene. “Tired and True” is being released independently by Stoner digitally and on vinyl.

“Tired and True” is officially out today and streamable on Spotify/ Itunes/ everywhere! I’m gonna save y’all my sappiness but I really appreciate everyone who has taken the time to listen to these songs or even helped share them: Maya Stoner.

It features contributions from Jon Scheid (Duck. Little Brother, Duck!, Dreamdecay), Aaron Liu (Two Moons), Jared Ridabock (Anne, Wild Guess), and Mo Troper

Floating Room Released on: 2020-10-09

A shoegazey, indie rock band residing in Portland, OR. new album “Lotus Eaters” is out now! Formed back in 2008, Phosphene are a Portland based band, built around the duo of vocalist and guitarist Rachel Frankel and drummer Matt Hemmerich. The band released their self-titled debut album back in 2014, followed by an EP, Breaker in 2016. Four years on the band have just released their brand-new album, Lotus Eaters. 

The songs that comprise Lotus Eaters were written during a period of mass transition and upheaval. The writing and recording process of this album took place preceding and following the 2016 election, when extremism and bigotry prevailed across the United States and world at large.

The title Lotus Eaters is loosely derived from Greek mythology, which describes a person in a peaceful but apathetic haze from continually eating lotus fruit. A similar, escapist notion was pervasive across the U.S., and it certainly impacted each of us personally. It took a great deal of focus and fortitude to resist that inertia and move forward as a band. Song writing has always been joyful and cathartic for each of us in different aspects: a distraction from anxiety, an outlet for depression, or a unique way to express our introverted selves in a way that feels most genuine and heartfelt—and that catharsis is what carried us through.

Once we picked ourselves back up and creatively honed in, our most potent and ruminative songs began to take form. As a band, we found ourselves writing music that oscillated between dark, magnetic propulsions to dreamy, blissed-out reveries. During this period of time, Rachel was also writing and illustrating She Can Really Lay It Down, a musical anthology celebrating fifty influential women musicians from the past century, which was recently released in the fall of 2019. Some key heroines in the book such as Kim Gordon, Neko Case, and Janet Weiss absolutely made their influence known within several songs on Lotus Eaters, particularly “Incinerate” and “Incandescent Plumes.”

Although we’ve tinkered with our sound before, we really started to revamp our style and framework in more experimental ways on Lotus Eaters. From incorporating spoken word poetry and dismantling song structures to constantly swapping instruments, a newfound growth and confidence was evident in this collection of music. Lotus Eaters emanates a fervour that we want to resonate with each listener. And as turbulent as these times can be, we hope this album can be a source of comfort and inspiration for those seeking.

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25% of proceeds from every album sale will go towards Black United Fund of Oregon and National Bail Fund Network. This is a permanent pledge.

Released July 7th, 2020

Ten Million Lights are an indie shoegaze band from Portland, Oregon who tap into something special on their new single “Myanmar.”

The band captures a level of rocking fuzzy goodness that creates a stirring non-stop atmosphere that still finds room for the heavenly floating vocals that mix with the shoegazey guitar work that feels like a mix of bands like Ride and Slowdive. Even better yet is the band’s description of the song:

The lyrics are highly imaginative about looking over the Event Horizon into a black hole to try and meet your maker only to find out its a praying mantis lizard who is turning our sun into a crystal. Have fun with this quick ditty. You just might have to play it twice…It doesn’t get much better than that.

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Released August 21st, 2020
Ryan Carroll – vocals, guitars
Eric Block – guitars
Russ Ellis – bass
Paul Hardie – drums

This may need a little explaining… so back when everything first started with the pandemic, I was wrapping up the tracking of what would be my 4th album. It’s a pretty groovy spin, maybe some of my best yet? That record is done and I’m very excited for you to hear it, but that IS NOT this record. This is Sugar Water... an odd little collection of songs that will be out in early September. Songs about witches, Greyhounds, real hounds, the best singer in Abilene (also a hound), evil motorcycle riding grandmothers, and the best Hummingbird nectar on the market.

Typically when announcing an album, you have a track list and it’s all finished; however, that isn’t the case here. Right now, there are 7 songs. My hope is to write and record 3 more between now and September. Here’s the first single! It’s called Rising Sign and it isn’t anything at all about the subject matter I mentioned earlier… Cheers Sugar Water... my 5th album… out before the 4th one.

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This song is the first single for Sugar Water… An album that will likely be out in early September.
Released August 7th, 2020

 

An absolute gem and a massive recommendation . After a head warping intro “Men And Their Work” kicks into eight driving postpunk rockers full of angst, confidence, feminism, melody, grit and a sense of direction not commonly found in a debut album. Shit, most seasoned bands don’t even make albums this coherent. It’s a smart moniker as All Hits certainly lives up to the promise. There is a 60/40 split of familiar comfort and provocative mystery inherent in every song. You get shouted sloganeering backed with barbed melody and finessed power-ups massaged into the sweetest spots.

We can’t put our finger on exactly what it is that makes this record so special but whatever it is there is a lot of it. Destined to be a modern classic. For fans of Wipers, Raincoats, early Wire and Sleater-Kinney.

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We can’t put our finger on exactly what it is that makes this record so special but whatever it is there is a lot of it. Destined to be a modern classic. Destined to be a modern classic. So much so, that Rough Trade has deemed it their “Record of the Week” for June 26th. Lovely.

300 black, 100 translucent smoky blue and 100 coke bottle clear (a Rough Trade exclusive color)

Full length album “Men And Their Work” out June 26th on Iron Lung Records.

Marisa Anderson channels the history of the guitar and stretches the boundaries of tradition. Her playing is fluidemotional, and masterful, featuring compositions and improvisations that re-imagine the landscape of American music. Her work applies elements of minimalism, electronic music, drone and 20th century classical music to compositions based on blues, jazz, gospel and country music.

The challenge of covering an Elliott Smith song is daunting. When the words are stripped away what is revealed at the core of The White Lady Loves You More is delicate and mysterious. After building it up and tearing it down several times, I arrived at a deconstructive approach, following the vocals as closely as I could, treating my guitar as an acapella voice.
released July 9th, 2020

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, people playing musical instruments, guitar and outdoor

The impossibly talented 19-year old Utah musician Sammy Brue has just shared the latest song from his forthcoming album, “Crash Test Kid”. “Megawatt” is the fourth track to be released from the already critically lauded young artist’s sophomore album, Crash Test Kid. (June 12 via New West Records) . Having just completed tours opening for Michael Kiwanuka and Marcus King before the Covid-19 crisis, Sammy was forced to cancel his trip to SXSW, and has spent the past several weeks at home in Utah, where he’s been performing live on his Instagram Stories and recently took part in Consequence Of Sound’s livestream tribute to one of his musical heroes, John Prine.

Since writing his first song (a fingerpicked, autobiographical tune titled “The Woody Guthrie Song”) at the age of 11, Brue has released three homespun EPs, his New West full-length debut, I Am Nice and a 2018 EP, Down with Desperation . In the process, the Ogden, Utah native has been hailed as an “Americana prodigy” by Rolling Stone , a “wunderkind” by American Songwriter and one of the “teenagers shaping pop” by The New Yorker . Alongside this, Brue has performed at the Newport Folk Festival and played shows with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Lukas Nelson and Hayes Carll; and toured alongside Justin Townes Earle, who has become a mentor of sorts.

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Brue recorded his debut full-length, I Am Nice , in Muscle Shoals with Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes and John Paul White of The Civil Wars producing. But for his new album he took a different approach, collaborating with Irish producer, singer-songwriter Iain Archer , who has worked with the likes of Jake Bugg and Snow Patrol.

released June 12th, 2020
All songs written by Sammy Brue and Iain Archer

Moon Duo Escape album artwork

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Moon Duo’s long-out-of-print debut LP “Escape”, Sacred Bones is proud to present a new deluxe version of the album.
The new reissue will include the original album in its entirety, plus three additional rare tracks taken from Moon Duo’s wild early days. Reflecting on the album in March 2020, the band shared the following statement: “We made this record in a rehearsal space in San Francisco in late 2009. It was kind of a classic band space, shared by a rangy assortment of musicians over months and years, behind one of several similar doors in a dark red hall. A windowless room lit by string lights and an odd assortment of lamps, the walls a palimpsest of posters and gig fliers.

The band shared the following statement on the 10th anniversary of the album: “We made this record in a rehearsal space in San Francisco in late 2009. It was kind of a classic band space, shared by a rangy assortment of musicians over months and years, behind one of several similar doors in a dark red hall. A windowless room lit by string lights and an odd assortment of lamps, the walls a palimpsest of posters and gig fliers. There was a grimy, burn-pocked rug, cluttered gear in various stages of use and abandonment, and the air seemed to hang in a permanent film of smoke residue and stale beer. We recorded to a 4-track tape machine over the course of a few nights – we’d just start the beats, hit ‘record’ and let fly. We had a vague sense of coalescence, or fomentation, like a glimpse of a thing in outline which you can’t yet see, but neither of us knew at the time that this was the record that would mark the beginning of our life as a touring band and would initiate our connections to so many (now long-time) friends, familiars and collaborators. Ten years feels like both a lifetime and the blink of an eye – measurable but impossible to quantify. These four tracks, and the others that join them here, are a snapshot of our earliest incarnation: flying blind, but high on the freedom of experimentation and filled with hope for things to come.”

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Moon Duo is Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada.