It's Music Monday! Shake the cobwebs outta your ears and listen to some hot new tracks from Portland bands.
Radiation City dropped this gorgeous, lush cover of "Fly Me to the Moon," the standard made famous by Frank Sinatra, although this version owes more to Astrud Gilberto's 1965 bossa nova rendition. Spearheaded by Lizzy Ellison's incredible vocal and a candlelit romanticism, the song boasts a squiggly synth solo that also evokes the space-age futurismo that surrounded the song in its original heyday. This is a beautiful track, whetting the appetite all the more for Radiation City's upcoming 2013 album.
The first single from Sun Angle's upcoming album also hit last week; here's the frantic whirlwind of "Time Snakes," from the Danny Seim-produced Diamond Junk, which was recorded in a cabin in Zigzag, Oregon, and comes out May 7 on New Moss Records. Drummer Papi Fimbres tears through this track like a hurricane, although Charlie Salas Humara's guitar and vocal lock onto a super-melodic hook, transforming the chaos into something uplifting. After they play Boise's Treefort Music Fest, Sun Angle are going to play Holocene on Monday, March 25 opening for Bad Weather California.
LISTEN: TeenSpot - "The Hero"
Here's the opening track from the first EP from a new band called TeenSpot, featuring Shaky Hands/Spookies' Mayhaw Hoons, Your Rival's Mo Troper (who's also a Mercury contributor), and Paper Brain's Mike Wroblewski, who's just departed the band and has been replaced for live shows by Profcal's Asher McKenzie. With the (probably) ironic line "Get with the hero," this upholds the fine tradition of self-loathing yet joyously infectious power-pop, with chiming guitars and an outrageously high vocal line. TeenSpot plays this Friday, March 15, with Charts at the SoHiTek Gallery in the Everett Street Lofts.
Last week also gave us another peek at the upcoming 1939 Ensemble album, via the track "Sad French Song," which premiered on Pitchfork on Friday. With only two members, the duo of Jose Medeles and David Coniglio have created something gargantuan-sounding in this track, as the drum kit is given room to breathe, accompanied by stark vibraphone lines and electronic ambience. The song will appear on Howl and Bite, 1939 Ensemble's forthcoming album due on April 16 on Jealous Butcher. They play a hometown record release show on Friday, March 29 at Mississippi Studios.
Here's another cover; this one's from Portland's Young Turks, who have tackled Bruce Springsteen's oft-covered "I'm on Fire" to benefit the Green Acres Animal Sanctuary. Their rustic, slightly twanged but ultimately faithful rendition is available for purchase for a $1 minimum donation on Bandcamp, and all proceeds go to benefit the Silverton, Oregon charity, which finds homes for abused and unwanted farm animals. Young Turks is the band of former Broadway Calls bassist Matt Koenig.
Here's the new one from She & Him, which is sorta local since "Him" (AKA M. Ward) lives here, and the new album was recorded partly in Portland. Volume 3 continues the group's tradition of breathtakingly inventive album titles and classic 20th-century pop, as evidence by "Never Wanted Your Love," penned by "She" (that's Zooey Deschanel). It comes out May 7 on Merge and She & Him tour dates are planned, although no Portland show has been announced yet.
I'll end today with the second advance track from Eluvium's upcoming double album: The lovely "Envenom Mettle" features an appearance by Explosions in the Sky's Mark T. Smith, joining Portlander Matthew Cooper on a track that's comfortingly and epically pretty. Eluvium's Nightmare Ending comes out May 14 on Temporary Residence, and marks a return to Eluvium's more instrumental, droning work after 2010's vocally oriented Similes.