Summer is trucking right along, and I hope people are saving a little bit of their coin because there are an absolute onslaught of incredible acts coming through the Portland area in the coming weeks and months: This month we'll see acts like Paramore, Portugal. The Man, and Parliament Funkadelic feat George Clinton. Next month we welcome Pickathon 2023 back at Pendarvis Farm and Maggie Rogers with Alvvays at Edgefield.
There are a ton of local touring shows—playing with local support—from now through October, and plenty of music festivals to get sweaty at this time of year. This week, we’re focusing on the bevy of new content from Portland-made artists, from a KEXP session, to a new single and music video from Roselit Bone, to a couple quality rap releases, and a newly announced mini-tour from KAYTRAMINÉ.
New release(s) from a Portland-relevant artist.
"Crying In The USA," Roselit Bone
Portland’s Roselit Bone has released a great music video to accompany their latest single, “Crying In the USA.” Directed shot, and edited by the band's frontperson Charlotte McCaslin, the video features band members in matching red bodysuits, which McCaslin explained she found at a thrift store. She formed her vision for the video around them. “I shot everyone against a simple white background," McCaslin explained in a press release, "letting the band members' personalities and varying levels of true discomfort guide the narrative. It captures the chaos of having all of us in one room together, at this pivotal moment where we are emerging from isolation and depression, about to tour a lot, and apprehensively preparing to be 'performers' again.” The group continues to pull inspiration from rockabilly and Mexican ranchera music, and this new single heralds the group's forthcoming record Ofrenda, which drops on August 25 via Get Loud Recordings. McCaslin described the new single as “a patriotic anthem for a country that doesn’t want to exist anymore. I wrote it at the height of the pandemic when live music seemed gone forever, and many people were laid up with fear watching the collapse unfold on their phones. It often seemed like there was nothing to do but sleep or cry. I was listening to a lot of dancey '80s and '90s country as an escape, wanting so badly to inhabit that world.” Roselit Bone is set to play an upcoming set of their danceable country at Roshambo Art Farm, as part of its Art+Science Sundown concert series. While it's a bit of a distance, it's the last chance to catch them in town before they kick off their tour on August 24 in Seattle. (Roshambo Art Farm, 22900 SW Pittman Rd, Sheridan, Sat July 22, 7 pm, $0-20, tickets here, all ages)
Some Like It Hot, Wynne
The latest EP from Oregon rapper Wynne is finally here, and Some Like It Hot is yummy. Music critics and theologians will discuss for the next few eons: Which was hotter—the album’s break-the-internet-worthy cover art (a photo of a fully topless Wynne sporting nothing but rouge lip gloss and a lollipop), or the EP's six new tracks? Matching its sultry image, the album itself is fire from front to back. We've already raved about the two previously released singles “Jaw Morant” and “Hot Friend.” The album's opener “In the Mood,” is similarly catchy and scintillating, but my personal favorite is “What Would Comb Do?,” on which Wynne spits mouthfuls of dense, detailed, reference-packed rhymes, while flowing over a jazzy piano sample—it all of a sudden makes complete sonic sense that Wynne has repeatedly named Jay Z as one of her major influences. Seriously, you’re going to want to have Google handy to be in on some of these lyrical puns. The final track, “Wife,” is also worthy of praise for its collaboration between Wynne and New Jersey artist Chris Patrick, wherein Wynne raps “He picture me in his fantasy/ We fuck, got me yelling profanities/ I like the way that he handles me/ Made him realize he might want a family/ Wife, wife, wife, wife.”
Nonbinary Girlfriend Live on KEXP
In another recent column, we sang the praises of Portland-based indie pop-punk band Nonbinary Girlfriend, known for its “sad,” emotive sound, and powerhouse vocals by frontperson and multi-instrumentalist Anaïs Genevieve (formerly of Cry Babe), who uses they/them pronouns. Unsurprisingly, we aren’t the only ones who’ve taken notice of the band’s impressive debut, Big and Kind. The four-piece, which also comprises guitarist Oak Alger, drummer Eric Ambrosius, and bassist Sei Harris, recently made the trek to Seattle for a performance on Live on KEXP, and the resulting studio session is simply marvelous. The band kicks it off with the title track, which gives the listener—especially those who are perceived as women—permission to kindly say “no,” set boundaries, and not shrink ourselves to be thought of as “nice.” Nonbinary Girlfriend proceeds to slay epic rendition after epic rendition: the dreamy “No Face,” followed by the moody and blues-tinged “Tender Hand.” The whole thing climaxes with an intense and ambitious performance of the upbeat “Okay,” which starts out groovy and low, and then escalates into an intense, riotous performance. Over the course of 20 minutes, Anaïs puts on an absolute clinic of vocal range and diversity, as well as onstage energy, and self expression.
ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.
In May, producer KAYTRANADA and Portland-raised rapper Aminé—a newish duo known jointly as KAYTRAMINÉ—dropped their portmanteau-titled collaborative album to widespread critical acclaim. Following the release of their summery, pop-infused KAYTRAMINÉ, the two will embark on a five-stop fall tour, visiting their respective hometowns of Portland and Montreal, in addition to Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Obviously they’ll be performing work from their excellent debut, but what’s unclear is how much of their respective solo catalogs will be included on the setlist. One thing’s for sure: Portlanders can expect live versions of “Caroline,” and “Charmander,” and heavy nods to the Rose City reflected in Aminé’s stage design. (McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale, Sept 9, 6:30 pm, $65, tickets here, all ages)