January is Portland Music Month, and we've got another PMM show you must not miss! Also in the column this week: an impressive debut album from Portland-based soul singer-songwriter Julia Logue, and this is your alert for Jamila Woods' February stop at the Wonder Ballroom. Let's get into it, Hear in Portland!


Upcoming local event(s) featuring local artist(s).       

Golden Boy, New Body Electric, Silvertongue

Because January is traditionally hibernation season and slow for live events, it’s a good time to (once again and repeatedly) push for folks to support the hyper-local Portland Music Month. Nonprofit MusicOregon put together a calendar of great shows, and just by going to them, you're supporting a grant fund for local artists to help them pay for recording costs and other expenses. Every ticket contributes a dollar from the price, so the more you see the more you support. Our recommendation this week: A headliner show showcasing Golden Boy, a pop-rock project spearheaded by lead singer-songwriter Ian Mullin. The band hasn’t dropped a new project since 2020’s self-titled, but we’re still thoroughly enjoying the three-year-old album, and are hoping to hear heartfelt alt-rock gems like “Chasing Down a Scruffier Face,” and “Sznl Girl,” but really, just anything Ian Mullin’s distinct tenor voice wants to sing live that day. There will also be unmissable sets from disco-, funk-, and electro pop- infused outfit New Body Electric, and indie rock five-piece Silvertongue. (Show Bar, 1300 SE Stark, Thurs, Jan 11, 8 pm, $10, tickets here, 21+)


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

Welcome To Your Sunrise, Julia Logue

Coming right on time and brightening up these short and dark winter days, Portland-based neo-soul singer-songwriter Julia Logue released her debut full-length, Welcome To Your Sunrise, right before the year’s end. Logue—who plays and writes on guitar—harnesses her soulful, hearty voice to bring forth dynamic, jazz-inspired vocals, layered over instrumentals. In a press email promoting the project, Logue is quoted describing the album in her own words: “Between layered keys, tight pockets, rich bass lines, jazz-flickered chords, and rich vocals, I work through questions of self-doubt, my place in the world, my connection to others, and ultimately how to trust my higher self. Each song is an intimate sonic reflection of my journey with these concepts.” The album kicks off with the dreamy “Roam,” which sets the tone for the album and progresses into a display of Logue's soul-driven musicianship and vocal mastery.  “Here We Are,” is actually a single that was released back in 2021, but appears here as a righteous second track. One highlight is “See You Smile,” in which Logue shows she can even make “I don’t give a fuck” sound superbly sweet. Gorgeous runs abound on the R&B-informed “Fort,” and jazz influences are at the heart of the somber “Save Me For Later.” For the project's title track and final song, there’s a newly released animated music video that listeners should check out.



Some upcoming music buzz to add to your radar.

Jamila Woods

Chicago-based songwriter and poet Jamila Woods made a major splash with her first two studio albums—2016’s full-length debut, Heavn, and the Black revolutionary-inspired album Legacy! Legacy!—both of which Pitchfork rated “Best New Music '' with a score of 8.4 and 8.5 respectively. Woods’ latest album, 2023’s Water Made Us, scored nearly just as high, at an also-rarely-given 8.0. The themes at the center of Water Made Us are all about the cycles of love, and the transformative nature of the process. On “Bugs,” Woods wonders when she’ll settle down, singing “it bugs me but I do it for you.” Right after, Woods goes on to compare her intentionally gradual romance to a “Tiny Garden” that she’s going to feed and water every day, followed by “Practice,” which keeps the garden vibes going from the first verse’s lyrics: “Tomatoes and marigolds, they'll help each other grow/ I hope this seat's not taken, I just wanna share the Sun with you.” The most danceable of the songs is “Boomerang,” and another Poignant album highlight is “Send A Dove” which sees Woods asking for her partner to keep things spicy with her by being nice to her (faking it) when he comes home, and not letting his negative emotions flood into the relationship. “Careful the words that you say/ Did you mean that, babe?/ We argue and it sounds rain pouring/ But what are we growing?” In the chorus, Jamila Woods sings “I’d go down for you/ covered in mud, I’d kiss the ground for you.” The sampled interlude, goes off, too: “Because I've caught the frowns and the anger/ You come home and I catch hell/ Because I love you, I get least of you/ I get—I get the very minimum/ And I'm saying, you know, fake it with me.” (Wonder Ballroom, 128 N Russell, Fri, Feb 2, 8 pm, $27.50, tickets here, all ages)