Do you see that, Portland? Just look, right around the corner and it's there: summer. February's winter albatross is gone, and with one last push through the fading cold, it will be time for barbecues, house parties, river trips down the Sandy, and jacket-less biking. It doesn't come as any surprise then that this week sees the release of summertime-friendly the Shaky Hands' self-titled full-length for Portland's own Holocene Music.
Hand-claps, rolling bass-lines, mindless energy: This is music meant for heat, meant for sitting in the shade underneath a large tree next to a river. It's almost too hard to explain the music without giving context—the "whens" and "wheres" of where it should be consumed—because above all else, this music is a feeling or more accurately, a season. Sure, The Shaky Hands' lo-fi jangle is something that has become synonymous with the Northwest, but try to tell me that those reedy vocals aren't dipped in sunshine and that those melodies weren't meant for cold beer on front porches. Lyrically it hints at mild sadness, as in "Summer's Life," which starts with the perfect story of two youthful lovers, only to proclaim by the first chorus that "our love did end." No matter, though. Roll down the windows and turn up the AC: There are only a few more months before winter returns.
We are entering the middle of what is sure to be looked back on as the Great Portland Renaissance. With every band assuring its credibility through sheer locale, it's hard not to imagine the inevitable backlash that is to come. However, in the Shaky Hands' case, they are about to release a stellar debut, one that is bound to keep Portland on the cutting edge of the national music scene as the little oasis recognizable by its sizeable number of solid upstart bands. So thank you, the Shaky Hands, it may be your geography that is getting you press, but it is your wonderful music that will make you famous.