Amos Val

Brand new music from Portland’s post-rock outfit Amos Val. The album is called Yūgen. These guys have such an epic sound to their music. Amos Val’s newest record sounds super good! Yūgen brings out the best in each band member. From the crashing drums, the ripping bass lines, the dissonance of the guitars playing together all combine for a brilliant album. Amos Val definitely is one of the premiere post-rock band in Portland. The new album focuses a little harder on lyrics and vocals more than their previous recordings, and it adds another layer of depth to the band. Definitely give Yūgen a listen to, and be sure to check out Amos Val live.

Animal Eyes

New music from Portland’s own Animal Eyes. The new album is called Where We Go and it just came out towards the end of May. The album is packed with explosive rock and pop songs. Animal Eyes has a cool indie boy band vibe to them. Great harmonies, great songwriting, and catchy guitar riffs fills out Where We Go. “Feeding Snakes” starts of the record with a bouncy bass and dynamic vocals, reminiscent of Animal Collective. Then it goes to my favorite two tracks in “Zeke/Wizard” and “Mushroom Hunter”. These two tracks have been a staple in Animal Eyes’ live shows for a couple of years now, and these recordings are some of the best versions I’ve heard. Other favorite tracks of mine include “Sand Sang”, with those clanging guitars, and the ending track “Alligator Sex”. Definitely one of the better local Portland releases this year.

Sioux Falls

Finally catching up on some regular updates now. Still working on the Treefort coverage, but for now let’s dive into some of my favorite albums this year so far. Let’s start with Portland band Sioux Falls. They released Rot Forever back in February and it is a kick-ass indie-rock album that is filled with really good songs. Sioux Falls has such a classic indie-rock sound to them ranging from Modest Mouse to Pavement to Built To Spill. They also have an emo-punk theme to their music along the lines of Blink-182.
The vocals are what jump out at you first. The growly viciousness of Isaac Eiger is a staple in Sioux Falls. The way that he paces and presents the lyrics are really unique and add another layer of intrigue to the band.
Overall Rot Forever goes down as one of the freshest indie punk-rock albums this decade. So definitely wrap your ears around Sioux Falls.

Coastlands

New music from Portland band Coastlands. The post-rock band has just released their single “Western Skies” last week for their upcoming album. Coastlands’ music is more on the ambient side of the post-rock spectrum. “Western Skies” starts off nicely with floating guitar/keyboard noise, along with some rolling snare and cymbal hits. Then around the 3 minute mark is when the build up starts to come to fruition, and that’s when the hard guitar chords come in to take over your attention. The ending of “Western Skies” is very beautiful, as it is what the entire song has been leading to, a feeling of completeness. Coastlands put on an excellent show as well, they just announced a few dates where they will tour. March 5th in Seattle, April 29th in Oakland, and April 30th in San Jose. There will also be several shows in Portland as well.

Rare Diagram

Rare Diagram is a Portland, OR based band. They came out with their album, Secret Shot at the beginning of November last year. The best way to describe Rare Diagram is an epic pop-rock sound written in a carnival that was loosely Broadway-themed. Secret Shot starts with one of my favorite tracks “Come Home,” which starts off kind of ambient and softly sung. Then it bursts forth to rupture the cockles of your eardrums. Rare Diagram brings hit after hit on this record, it’s hard to choose my favorite tracks. The songwriting is such an inspiring whirlwind of pop and rock, it’s easy to let loose and dance to every song. You have to trust me and just listen to the whole thing over and over again.