Kikagaku Moyo
Kikagaku Moyo

Listen to the new full-length from Aminé and two new EPs from local stars, and then consider masking up and attending one of these three epic upcoming shows.

MUST-LISTEN

Three great new projects from locally relevant artists.

TWOPOINTFIVE, Aminé

Last week I mentioned an excellent new song and video for “Charmander,” by Portland-raised hip-hop star Aminé that’s definitely worth your attention. And on November 5, the triple platinum “Caroline” rapper dropped a surprise new full-length, TWOPOINTFIVE, following up 2017’s positively reviewed Good For You. Thanks to quirky, unconventional production from Pasqué, the poppy and bright 12-track project sounds right in line with lead single (and album highlight) “Charmander,” but the content is darker and less optimistic than his previous record. Other stand-out tracks include “Between the Lines,” “Colors,” and “Sh!t2Luz.” Pitchfork gave it a 6.0, but you can listen for yourself and be the judge.

DO MY OWN STUNTS, Wynne

Today, Wynne released her highly anticipated 6-track EP, DO MY OWN STUNTS, with lots of sinister production by esteemed Dreamville beatmaker, Christo. The fierce project includes two super dope previously released singles “Mary’s Lambo,” and “Carrot Cake,” and other highlights like upbeat “STUNT” and the eerie “DEMON.” The project sees Wynne changing up her flow, showing off her solid singing chops, and confidently delivering lots of clever, punny wordplay. Look out for my upcoming full-length review of the project.

Who’s Listening Anyway, Zyah Belle

Another impressive 11/11 release comes in the form of romantic, downtempo R&B from California-to-Portland transplant Zyah Belle. The follow up to 2019’s IX, Who’s Listening Anyway will please fans of artists like Ari Lennox and Cyanca. On move-on anthem “Fuck That (feat. Tempest)” Belle talks her shit, repeatedly crooning “Fuck that nigga and his bitch too/ Aint no comparison/ Are you crazy?” And then “You can’t compete where you can’t compare/ So baby you can’t sit right here/ No you can’t sit with us/ You can’t smoke with us.” “Take It or Leave It (feat. Nate Curry)” is another smoky and ferocious track that sees Belle asserting her worth and preaching radical acceptance of both her sweet and salty aspects. From sultry opener “Or What,” to the tranquil “S O S,” to the EP’s three stunning singles (“I Think That I Love You,” ''Sugawater,” and “Say My Name”), Zyah Belle makes an impressive third project that’s worth repeating.

MUST-SEE

Three can’t-miss upcoming shows.

Kikagaku Moyo

With the grip that artists like Thundercat and Khruangbin have on live audiences these days, it’s clear that trippy, string-based music is back with a vengeance. Japanese band Kikagaku Moyo’s moniker translates to “geometric patterns,” and their strain of psychedelic folk rock conjures colorful imagery akin to a mushroom trip. Their lyrics aren’t some exotic language, but in fact just gibberish that appeals to all cultures. If you tried and failed to catch one of Kikagaku Moyo’s two sets at Pickathon 2018, you’re in luck: The epic, Tokyo-based rock band brings their radical, free-spirited psychedelia to the Roseland this Friday, and miraculously, tickets are still available! Go, go, go!

Friday November 12, 9 pm, Roseland, all ages. Tickets start at $22.

Federale

Portland-based seven-piece band Federale rocks a homestand show at the lovely Polaris Hall next week. Their intense, thrilling signature sound is mostly inspired by European soundtracks from the 60s and 70s, especially those for Spaghetti Westerns and the gruesome, murder mysteries depicted in Giallo films. For a taste of what their live show is like, check out their recent performance of “Run, Man, Run” at PDX Pop Now 2019, which was later released as a video via Banana Stand Media.

Friday November 19, 8 pm, Polaris Hall. Tickets are $15.

Baebadoobee

Filipino-British singer-songwriter Baebadoobee, AKA Beatriz Laus, is set to play the Crystal Ballroom later this month, no doubt performing tracks from her 2021 EP Our Extended Play. Her too-cool alternative/indie pop sound, exemplified on tracks like project opener “Last Day On Earth,” sound like they could be placed in a teen movie from the 90s.

Friday November 26, 8 pm, Crystal Ballroom. Tickets start at $20.

ADDED TO THE QUEUE

Love Mercury Music Coverage?

Some local music buzz to put on your radar.

“Identity Fraud,” HANiF

Some hot goss that’s circulating in the Portland hip-hop scene has to do with a fresh rap beef that emerged out of the buttfuck nowhere: Long-standing NE Portland rapper HANiF (FKA Luck-One) recently dropped a new song and video,”Identity Fraud (Wynne diss),” the sole point of which is apparently to take shots at Lake Oswego-raised rapper Wynne! (Wynne now resides in Portland, has a viral internet following, and has garnered support from the local hip-hop community.) Over a sample from Jay Z’s Blueprint track “Takeover,” HANiF makes various harsh jabs at the 23-year-old for attending Oregon State (she actually went to the University of Oregon), being from Lake Oswego but repping Portland, her body, and calls her out for so-called “cultural appropriation.” The takedown track also pulls from the chorus in the Jay Z song: “Northeast Portland, we runnin this rap shit/ Southeast Portland, we run this rap shit /St Johns, we built this rap shit/ The fuck back to Lake Oswego, that wack shit.” He also takes shots at stalwart North Portland rapper Mic Capes, acclaimed producer TROX, and Wynne collaborator Dame Lillard (“a loser who’s trying his hand at music”). The whole song reads as an obsessive, jealous tirade that seeks to piggyback off the popularity of other local artists. Since diss records are such an integral part of rap culture, it will be interesting to see how the recently called out artists will respond (or not) with their own music, and what HANiF’s next release will entail.