Mm, mm, mm, it's Music Monday!
Mimicking Birds made their long awaited return last week with a new song, "Bloodlines," and information about a new album on the way. Eons is their followup to 2010's self titled album (seems like eons ago, eh??), and it's out May 13 on Glacial Pace. (Here's an atmospheric 48-second "album trailer," if you're into those things.) Meanwhile, "Bloodlines" is a gossamer, cushiony ballad with lead singer Nate Lacy perhaps in a Jónsi mood—it's a beautiful reintroduction to the Portland band. They kick off a tour next week that takes them to SXSW and Treefort and do a second East Coast leg that brings them home to Portland on May 23, when they'll play the Doug Fir.
Shy Girls covered Brandy. No, not the Looking Glass' classic "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" (although wouldn't that be great?)—in this case Dan Vidmar is tackling Brandy Norwood's 1995 Babyface-written hit "Sittin' Up in My Room" from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. It's been a looong time since I've heard that one, but I'm pretty sure Brandy didn't have the gunshots on her version. This striking cover (which Billboard bafflingly calls a "remix") is minimally, moodily dark and full of emotional complexity, with a very impressive vocal from Vidmar. No word if he'll be taking on Whitney's "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" next.
Sometimes it's just plain helpful when a band comes up with their own genre descriptor. New Portland band bed. calls themselves "slow-fi," and that's just a-ok with me. (The Nate Ruess approach to capitalization and punctuation I'm less sure about.) "Bother" is an inky, seductive tune with crunchy bottom end; any parallels to Low are warranted, but there's also an inverted shoegaze-y element happening here. The duo of Alex Haager and Sierra Frost arrived in Portland last year and have started their own label, Breakup Records. Meanwhile, bed. plays Sunday, March 23 at Rontoms, and also on Holocene on May 18.
More Music Monday, with tracks from Philip Grass and Pony Village, after the jump!
Here's the lead track from Philip Grass' new EP, Find. "All I Need" is a slithering whirligig with lots of moving parts, artfully constructed by the duo of Burton Schaber and Ben Durfee. For me, it evokes sounds of the forest and quietly shuffled footsteps on soft pillows of fallen pine needles, nocturnal lounges kitted entirely in white, and a buoy bouncing through the waves. Find comes out tomorrow on local label Dropping Gems.
Pony Village have a new one, which they recorded with producer Beau Sorenson. It's called "The Brighter Side (Is Darker Than Ever)" and boy, Pony Village, I know how you feel. They've just finished work on a new album due out later this year, but in the meantime they're playing this Saturday, March 8 at Kelly's Olympian with Bike Thief and Fanno Creek.