best-emerging-bands-artists

Vow of Volition Make the Final Round of the Battle for Warped Tour

The Vans Warped Tour was the first festival for many of us back in the day. As young'ns, it's likely we didn't necessarily think about all that went into figuring out the bands to book and play the whole shebang. Part of that process, at least locally, seems to be through a series "battle of the bands" style competitions specifically for landing a spot on the fest. Quite a few Portland bands have been furiously playing against one another for said spot, and djent/prog metal act Vow of Volition are one of the acts that made it to the finals.

Warped Tour was always the type of festival that included much in the realm of pop punk, punk punk, emo and metal, so Vow of Volition's advancement to the final round is no surprise. Their incredibly technical, at times jazzy metal stands out in Portland's pretty linear popular music scene, and is much worthy of the attention its getting.

Those that want to support Vow of Volition in driving home the permanent spot can go to the Battle for Warped Tour finals Saturday at the Hawthorne Theatre.

   

New Music Video: "Soft Shape" - Empath

Active Listening: Night on Earth, the forthcoming album from Empath, is slated to arrive on April 2 via Get Better Records. The sounds of nature are quickly traded for the more immediate thump of bass as the album’s lead single, “Soft Shape,” comes into focus. Encircled by creepy dolls as synth eerily rings, there’s a creepy mesmerizing quality to the band's accompanying video. As though in a neon fog, a magnetizing, mysterious aesthetic unfolds, and as the instrumental ending suggests, it's part candy, part chaos. (Photo by Alysse Gafkjen)

   

Pale Ramon, Phase One and Yuli play Revolution Vol. #36 on 02.23

The monthly appointment with The Revolution, the series organized by National Sawdust and featuring emerging local talent, is back this coming Saturday (February 23) with Volume #36

Three artists coming from varied musical backgrounds will grace the venue's stage: Pale Ramon is a brand new duo featuring Emanuel Ayvas of Emanuel and the Fear and Kevin Plessner of Oceanographer / Monuments, artists we covered extensively in this very blog. Their music walks the line between the intense songwriting of Jeff Buckley and the edgy arrangements of post-rock luminaires Tortoise.

Blending Hip Hop with melodic elements, a variety vocal samples and even jazzy bass lines, the latest single by rapper Phase One (entitled Citii Boy) shows a musician interested in taking the genre in new places, with results that sounds effortless and well produced. 

Yuli might only have one track available online (Her, streaming below), but it's a song that may cast a spell on you. Soulful and experimental, this single strikes a perfect balance between intensity, melody and sonic exploration, taking us back to the day trip-hop ruled the world.

Listen to these three artists in the files streaming (the YouTube video has two tracks) and don't miss their live performance at Revolution #36 - tickets are here.

   

New Track: "All My Loving" - Ceramic Animal

“All My Loving,” the latest single from Ceramic Animal, is an expansive (almost 10 minute) musical sojourn. Steeped in a nighttime groove, the song hovers between a smooth, weightless, cruising approach and a heavier, psych-blues stomp. Those adventurous escalations continually increase the pressure, until the top appears ready to explode. What results is a locked-in yet wide-reaching trip that precisely pushes the limits. You can catch Ceramic Animal at Johnny Brenda's on Tuesday, March 26, with touring compatriots Spendtime Palace.

   

NYC Record of the Month: Dan Francia "Come Back To Life"

One wouldn't expect the front man of self-defined "panic rock" band Flagland (a punky trio whose latest record was released in 2017) to drop a mostly instrumental record that's as delicate and well orchestrated as Dan Francia's Come Back to Life (streaming below). Released by Explolding in Sound early in 2019, the album blends an overall understated vibe with a playful, collaborative approach, consisting in several guest appearences by noteworthy local artists like The Feelies, Speedy Ortiz, Sharkmuffin, Ovlov, Field Mouse, gobbinjr and Titus Andronicus - all accurately reported in the album's Bandcamp page. Each track sounds like a humble experiment in sound exploration not necessarily aiming at forging a unified style, but succeeding at it nonetheless, creating a sound in part reminiscent of a less sample-heavy Beta Band. Those rare times when Dan's voice comes into the picture ("Come Back to Life," "No Matter What"), his gentle bedroom melodies add an extra relatable element to the record, and in the titletrack's chorus ("Come back to life, you can do anything") seem to offer the clue through which this record should be interpreted: a statement of the freedom granted by life.