One of the best record labels based in Portland, Oregon is Tender Loving Empire. Some of the greatest Northwest indie bands are on this label. Something about all the bands is that feeling of classic American nostalgia. Almost like folk music, but you can hardly say that about Finn Riggins. They are more of a prog-rock trio with some steel drums in a couple of their tracks. Though they haven’t come out with a full length album in two years, they just released a single “Some Are Knightz.”
Now Jared Mees & The Grown Children are one of my new favorite bands. They just released their third album on the label called Only Good Thoughts Can Stay, which is a very appropriate title for this album. Another thing about all the bands from Tender Loving Empire is that they put on great live shows, and it seems like they are always putting on shows all over the Northwest.
Other great bands include; Typhoon, Boy Eats Drum Machine, Y La Bamba, Loch Lomond, Radiation City, and more!
You can also stream full albums from some of these bands for free here.
So I know I have been slacking a little bit so here is a bunch of great bands and music. Yesterday’s notable new releases were Thievery Corporation, Handsome Furs, and Shabazz Palaces.
So Woods is a really cool band from Brooklyn. Their newest album, Sun and Shade came out last month and it sounds great. It has a lot classic indie acoustic-rock to it. Coupled with Jeremy Earl’s folk-y high vocals, it’s a sound best described as lo-fi folk rock.
Miracle Parade just came out with their first full length, Hark and Other Lost Translations last week. They are another kind of indie folk rock, I really enjoy the single, “The Dying Physicist.”
The last band I’ll share for today is Tomorrow’s Tulips, who I just learned of today. Another cool lo-fi band emerging out of Costa Mesa, CA. I love their crunchy guitars and the use of the reverb on the vocals. Their first full length is due to come out on July 19th on Galaxia Records.
This band I just came across today at GorillaVsBear, they are called Young Galaxy. Their newest album, Shapeshifting, came out in February and it is really cool. You can stream the entire album for free here. They have really chill beats with soundscape like synths and the vocals just add another layer of instrumentation. Real Estate is a band that I have enjoyed ever since their debut album in 2009 of the same name. Last year they came out with an EP called Reality, and the single“Out of Tune.” They are the perfect summer band with awesome indie guitars and lyrics that are easy to listen to at the pool or the beach.
One of the best bands I have heard in a while is The Radio Dept. Though they have been around for 10 years, they are still unknown here in the U.S. They just released a best singles double album, which is always a good place to start. Or you can check them out here.
Last but not least I’ll break away from the chill indie music and give you Flake Music. Though now they are better known as The Shins, Flake Music started way back in early/mid-90s with a bunch of singles and EPs. Their only full length is called When You Land Here, It’s Time To Return.
11 weeks from today is the start of Portland’s MusicFestNW and the lineup is really solid all the way through. The headliners for this year is Band of Horses, Iron and Wine, and Explosions In the Sky. There are so many good bands that I just want to name them all, but I will just highlight some of the best. Archers of Loaf, Blitzen Trapper, Handsome Furs, The Antlers, The Thermals, Typhoon, Fool’s Gold, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Finn Riggins, Jared Mees & The Grown Children, and so much more. Every week I will feature a couple of bands/artists from the festival this year starting with Avi Buffalo. This band is really chill indie rock with great lead falsetto vocals. It really reminds me of Vetiver and Real Estate, they have that cool summer sound. Check them out here.
So this week’s new releases are really awesome, first and most obvious purchase is the new Bon Iver self-titled album. I’ve only listened to a little bit of it and it’s great.
The next band is Unknown Mortal Orchestra with their debut self-titled album. Their sound is really cool, it is like a lo-fi indie funk band. They are also from Portland, so buy their album.
Next is Jeff the Brotherhood with their 4th full length album, We Are the Champions. It is definitely different from their last one, but it’s just as good. Still really psychedelic and rockin’ but with a new polished sound to it, and also a pure slice of rock and roll.
Other releases include; Weird Al’s Alpocalypse, Skrillex’s More Monsters and Sprites, and YACHT’s Shangri-La.