Azul Toga

A new EP from Portland’s own Azul Toga called #2 just came out at the end of June. Azul Toga is a collection of dream pop and lo-fi surf-rock, great for the height of summer. The new EP is the follow up to Azul Toga’s previous summer’s #1. This album has a more refined sound than the previous, but still keeps that sincere closeness to it. The jangly guitars along with the muddled vocals makes for music you want to dance at the beach during the golden hour. #2 by Azul Toga is full of good songs and with it being under 15 minutes total there is no excuse not to listen to it. It is also on the bandcamp page for pay what you want here.

Is/Is

Need some subdued tunes for hiding from the hot sun? Is/Is is your jam. Their cool shoegazey cosmic pop is a solar eclipse for your ears. The songs keep good rhythmic progressions and pleasant dreamy melodies which mix together and just sound great. The track “Rune” showcases Is/Is’s psych sensibilities, with a sound reminscent to My Bloody Valentine or early Besnard Lakes. The very next track “Sideways” shows more of an interest in garage rock with a nod to 90’s revivalism. This is what makes Is/Is successful, their seamless blending of everything we love. Their live shows are highly recommended. Lucky for you, Portlander, they’re playing Star Theater with Ancient River on July 9th, and Mississippi Studios with The Coathangers and Marriage and Cancer July 18th.

Máscaras

It’s new music from Máscaras, a local Portland 3-piece band. Their new album is called Máscara vs. Máscara. These guys blend high energy psych-rock with an edge of experimental elements, all rolled up in a fury of instrumental expressionism. Máscara vs. Máscara starts off with “Burgers & Balrog,” a track that instantly lets you know that these guys aren’t messing around. With a surfy guitar riff and incredible drumming, it is extremely easy to become enchanted with Máscaras. “City In Ruins” is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The guitar solo just demands for you to rock out as hard as possible, then the drums demand to take it up a notch. Another favorite song of mine is the closer “Going Home.” Máscara vs. Máscara by Máscaras demands your attention, and once you hit play that’ll be all you can do for 23 minutes.