Soundtrack the upcoming spate of (god willing) sunny days, with new local music releases from indie pop self-love artist Meagan Sky and art rock duo Corvair. May flowers with a show that pairs experimental, electronic Kinshasa band KOKOKO! with Portland’s magical soul act YAWA. 


MUST-SEE: 

Can’t miss upcoming events. 

KOKOKO!, YAWA

Experimental electronic pop collective KOKOKO! will soon treat Stumptown to a night of their delightfully chaotic, euphoric, dance-worthy soundscapes. Coming together in Kinshasa, the capital and largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, part of the group's lore relates to the high cost of traditional instruments there. KOKOKO! was born from a music scene of artists crafting DIY instruments out of junk and scrap. The inventive quintet is beloved for their joyful sound, which permeates the group's celebrated 2019 full-length Fongola. Also on the bill—another unmissable opportunity—YAWA (AKA singer-songwriter Amenta Abioto) will sing and perform her eclectic, soul-driven improvisations. Inspired by the natural world and the African diaspora, YAWA sets carry a palpable feeling of magic. We're hoping to hear live renditions of Abioto’s “Wade” (interpolating the lyrics of the old negro spiritual "Wade in the Water"), the sun- and flora-powered anthem “Plant It,” and her chill-inducing social justice piece hymn “Revolution.” (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, Wed May 3, 9 pm, $17, tickets here, 21+)


MUST LISTEN: 

New release(s) from a Portland-relevant artist. 

I’ll Be the One, Meagan Sky

In recent months, those who follow indie pop- and soul-informed singer Meagan Sky have been treated to a number of countdowns, leading up to her new album, I'll Be the One. (Get it?) In December, she introduced the title track, in which a radio-ready chorus preaches Sky’s self-love mantra: “If you don’t know how to love, and you can’t give me enough/ I’ll be the one to love me." Then, in March, she dropped another track, “Running Theme,” which centers on accountability and taking responsibility for the narrative of your life—not running from your shadows, because “you are the running theme.” With that single, came a music video of Sky spinning through lights and colors like a cat trying to find a laser pointer. On April 1, we got a a video for "I'll Be the One," capturing a live performance with a backing band of stalwart Portland musicians—including keyboardist and saxophonist Mike Elson, drummer Craig Macintyre (Goo Goo Dolls), and trumpeter Farnell Newton (Jill Scott). Now, as of April 21, the I'll Be the One countdown concludes. Listen to the 8-track debut below:


ADDED TO THE QUEUE: 

Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.

Bound To Be, Corvair  

Portland-based art rock indie-pop group Corvair recently announced their forthcoming sophomore album, Bound to Be, which drops June 23. It's likely the husband-and-wife duo Brian Naubert and Heather Larimer are still better known for their other projects: Larimer co-fronted an LA garage group Eux Autres, and Naubert has a long history of playing in bands like Pop Sickle and the Service Providers. Corvair allows them to focus inward. “On this record, I pushed myself to be more exposed and unfiltered,” Larimer wrote, in the album notes for the lead single "Right Hook." She described the song as dark and feminine, the lyrics shaping an image of a woman boxer. “I can unfortunately be an ugly fighter, and I wondered what would happen lyrically if I just owned up to it. The things I do that I am ashamed of and the toll it takes on everyone involved.” Its obvious Corvair is pulling on influences like the Breeders and the Nancy & Lee collaborations between Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra—resulting in moody songs delivered with uptempo timing.