A rough news day. Here's some music to help a little, maybe, hopefully.
Radiation City premiered a second track from their upcoming album Animals in the Median on Nylon last week. "Zombies" is an outstanding piece of work, a lush, immaculately crafted pop symphony that feels far greater than its three minutes. As it moves through a complicated series of sounds and sections, it incorporates an army's worth of voices, clicks, guitars, organs, percussion, synth blurbles, and more, but never loses the thread or gets overwhelmed. In other words, it's the kind of infatuating pop tune you'd expect from Radiation City. The group kicks off a tour as soon as the record comes out (on Tender Loving Empire on May 21) before returning to Portland for a homecoming/record release show at the Wonder Ballroom on Friday, June 28.
Here's another track from the forthcoming Eluvium album, Nightmare Ending, due on May 14 on Temporary Residence. "Entendre" is one of the record's more modest tracks, a simple piano piece that still conveys a very palpable sense of space and time, as it moves through different chordal positions, and a flexible rhythm that rises and falls like human breath.
Here's a track for Street Nights' long-awaited full-length, You Have My Word, which is available now on vinyl via the band's Bandcamp. This track opens up side 2, a classic-rock slow-cooker with lots and lots of guitar—and I mean the good kind of guitar. Street Nights are on a bit of a break after lead guitarist Dan Wilson left town, but the album is out now, and it includes a cover of a song by Soft Machine's Kevin Ayers, who passed away in February.
PDX rapper Tope has a new one: "Stuck" is the preview track from his upcoming EP Trouble Man, which comes out this summer on Amigo/Amiga. Produced by Tope, this track is styled after "a summer type Madlib style beat," offering a gossamer Philly-soul backdrop for Tope's tale of romantic woe about being "stuck" with a girl who smokes all his weed and won't cook him dinner. Hang in there, Tope.
Last song, this one from the sorta-Portland duo She & Him. Since M. Ward lives here and part of their upcoming album Volume 3 was recorded here, we'll count 'em. This is actually a very appealing track written by Zooey Deschanel, with girl-group echoes and a wistful melody over some super-creamy, lush production. Say what you like about She & Him, but I always appreciated their ability to evoke AM radio's golden era, when pop and soul and country and everything else shared the same spot on the dial. She & Him have a summer tour coming up, although no Portland date is scheduled.