The Dirty Nil based out of Ontario, Canada are raw as hell. This is a wonderful thing. Reminiscent of punks shows I attended as a teen, you get a sense of this rawness in their album, “Higher Power.” But you really feel its impact live. I was able to catch their show 05/27/16 at The Analog Theatre and I’m stoked I did. They seem to have this kinetic energy that draws you into their performance. They are a dynamic band that scale various rock styles and do it with such style you don’t seem to notice how ranged they are until after the show is over and you’re heading home satisfied but wanting more. The tracks are quick and hit you hard and fast. After the show I didn’t have enough Dirty Nil so I went home and quickly threw on their album. The Dirty Nil are currently on tour with THE SO SO GLOS. When they come back through Portland, I highly suggest you pay the price of admission to find out that Rock and Roll isn’t dead.
Duke Evers EP, Handful of Pennies starts with their single, “Lions” that grabs your attention immediately with catchy guitar chords and a drum rhythm that makes you just want to dance. This is feel good Indie Rock at its finest. Hailing from Seattle with a Blues/Pop mix that has a magnetic pull that draws you in and holds you hostage until the music stops. Duke Evers has an energy that will bleed into anyone’s soul and resonate there. The combination of Kyle Veazey (drums) and Josh Starkel (vocals/guitar) is a combination of pure musical bliss. Through the four track EP they show incredible diversity in range, tempo, rhythm, and originality. Their track, “Seaside” is incredibly catchy and is sure to be a favorite with Josh Starkel’s appealing, smooth voice and Kyle Veazey’s clean, upbeat drum hits.
The album has an enigmatic feel that is both unique to them while being strangely familiar. Handful of Pennies drops today so be sure to give it a listen, it is well worth your time.
Marissa Nadler has the voice of a siren, a voice that would tempt anyone into following it to ones own peril, having to reveal the beauty of its source. If I can describe her new album, “July” in one word it would be ethereal. And I mean that in regards to the way the songs seem to seamlessly ebb and flow from tracks you feel you would hear in a dream and the next, a nightmare. With the slightest change of tempo and rhythm of the songs, it’s hard to pinpoint which feeling Ms. Nadler was trying to get the listener to evoke, probably a little of both. The allure of her soft acoustic strokes, reverb-laden lyrics, and backup singers, who also play violin and cello, kept me enthralled and captivated through the entire album. The lyrics are reminiscent of American Gothic Poetry and Dark Romanticism. The album is both beautiful and haunting, a tragically beautiful reminder of love gained, lost, and the faded memories of heartache. Though the album isn’t a complete downer, it does seem to have an overall uplifting approach to a heartache that most can relate to. I feel you will come away a bit more empowered over your past demons just as it seems Marissa Nadler has.
I had the chance to catch Marissa Nadler live at Mississippi Studio’s February 17th and her performance of a track titled, “Drive” was particularly captivating. The way Marissa and the back up singers can enthrall and entrance an audience was particularly impressive, as the whole venue seemed to be hanging on her every word. I have never been to a show so quiet in between songs, like a group of kindergarteners during story time, we all wanted to see how this would end, but hoping it never would. She sounded just as amazing in person if not more so, as in the studio. She even shed a tear at the end of one of her songs, the mark of a true artist.
Marissa played along side Pure Bathing Culture that consists of the duo of Sarah Versprille (vocals, keyboards) and Daniel Hindman (guitars, bass, and keys). Though they are technically considered alternative, their sound is reminiscent of something you would hear on 80’s love station, and it’s amazing. A magically relaxed mix of Chillwave and Dream Pop, the band sounds and looks like they got stuck in 1986 and that is not a bad thing. They have so much fun being there they make you want to join in on the fun right along with them. Smooth reverb laced synth-pop, subtle dance beats, and unexpected drones this is a treat for almost anyone with two ears.