there’s a quiet intensity that permeates throughout mother of my children, the debut full-length from portland’s black belt eagle scout that saw a re-release last fall, courtesy of saddle creek records. woven through its eight tracks are visceral examinations of queer, indigenous identity that grapple with personal loss and erasure, its sparse structures periodically blossoming into cathartic, towering walls of noise.
katherine paul, the beating heart behind black belt eagle scout, thankfully had more exquisite material at her disposal; last friday saw the release of a new 7” single, “loss & relax” b/w “half colored hair,” songs that grew out of the mother of my children sessions.
in contrast with its sturdier, heavier a-side, “half colored hair” finds KP occupying a more tender realm, the soft pulse of a floor tom thrumming beneath the faint chords that accompany her gentle love song. a simple sentiment turns on a mantra derived from the song’s title, with paul repeating “i never knew i’d like half colored hair so much / but in the light” as keyboard pads bloom into the foreground, an aural reflection of a promising relationship.
for much of this site’s existence, alexei shishkin has been a constant. the transient singer-songwriter has been providing understated ruminations on ennui and listlessness for the past few years, turning in a steady stream of releases via the minneapolis tape label forged artifacts. on october 19th, shishkin will return with his latest full-length, happy bday, a transcontinental batch of songs as geographically beholden to portland, orgeon, as they are to shishkin’s current residence in new york city.
the album’s newest single, “i don’t mind,” finds shishkin squarely in his element, extolling the virtues and unintended consequences of slowing life down in a measured duet with jess n. pierson. warm, phased guitars augment the relaxing timbre of shishkin’s lead vocal, with arpeggiated melodies and well-placed synth pads drifting in and out of the texture. ever reliable, shishkin combines these elements to offer up something as unassuming as it is profound, a much-needed, sustained exhalation for the collective mind.
“i don’t mind” is premiering today, right here on the dimestore. listen in below.
perhaps you’ve come across accolades for pat moon on this website before; if so, allow us to indulge a bit. 2016’s don’t hide from the light is a timeless debut, eight songs of spectral, ambient pop that provide a window into kate davis’ synth-driven aural dreamscape. the portland-based musician announced a follow-up album, romantic era, earlier this spring, a highly-anticipated release that will arrive may 18th.
in contrast to the murky, haunting lead single “medieval spells” lies a more crystalline offering from romantic era, “spiraling.” crystalline is, of course, a relative term; in the realm of pat moon, vocals will always stack to the stratosphere, a hazy choir that smears into similar synth timbres.
“spiraling,” with its shuffling percussion and glassy arpeggiations, is quintessential pat moon, the project in its finest form. the track’s back half unravels ever so slightly and slowly, embodying its title while peeling back outer layers to expose an even more pensive core. “spiraling” premieres today, right here on the dimestore. get lost in the excellent new track below.
pat moon’s 2016 debut don’t hide from the lightis proving to be one of the decade’s most enduring records. kate davis’ spectral synth soundscapes are equally perfect for muggy summer evenings and bone-chilling winter mornings, the rare album that feels intimately applicable to one’s surroundings year-round.
later this spring, davis will release a follow-up, romantic era. beyond title and timeframe, information is scant, but the announcement was made in tandem with the release of a new single; “medieval spells” evolves methodically, a cavernous choir slowly layered over murky synth beds comprising its positively haunting architecture. it’s a fascinating preview of romantic era, one that further blurs the line between meditative and hypnotic with every repeated listen. hear the track below.
commit haley heynderickx to memory. the portland singer-songwriter is gearing up to unveil her debut album, i need to start a garden, and has been approaching the precipice of release with a collection of powerful singles in tow: last year’s “oom sha la la,” an unforgettable first impression; january’s “untitled god song,” a rumination on spirituality; and now the latest, “worth it.”
clocking in at nearly eight minutes, “worth it” is an epic tour de force of heynderickx’ songwriting tendencies and capabilities, from the wordless melodies that meander through sparse soundscapes to the inevitable cacophony that is unleashed. heynderickx is often understated and delightfully conversational in her delivery, a disarming combination that renders the aforementioned outbursts that much more cathartic.
i need to start a garden is out march 2nd via mama bird recording company. listen to “worth it” below.
haley heynderickx arrived in full force last year with “oom sha la la,” a debut single – shrouded in the doo-wop its title suggests – presaging a powerful debut album. that strength’s inevitability is further compounded with the recent release of a second single; “untitled god song” finds the portland singer-songwriter grappling with spirituality and hypothesizing about its physical manifestation as a reverb-drenched arrangement sways behind her lead vocal.
the cavernous depths eventually brim with the warmth of a trombone counter-melody commandeering the full band and provides an affecting template for heynderickx’ final thought, which abruptly departs into the ether. “untitled god song” is culled from i need to start a garden, out march 2nd via mama bird recording company. listen below.
matthew cooper’s work as eluvium has marked him as a clear standard-bearer of ambient music in the twenty-first century; a direct descendent of brian eno, cooper has been manipulating tape delays and layering mountains of tones for the better part of two decades now, creating vast, affecting drone compositions in the process. after pausing to make two albums as inventions – a collaborative project with explosions in the sky guitarist mark smith – cooper will circle back to his solo moniker for its eighth album, false readings on, out september 2nd via temporary residence.
alongside the album’s announcement today comes “fugue state,” a sprawling seven-minute return to form. cooper uses one definition of fugue to inform another, inverting arpeggios at various tempos and moving them through different timbres – including a particularly haunting, cavernous vocal passage – to create an agitated soundscape that teases a serene resolution but evaporates before it can be reached. take a listen below.
the members of haunt may now split their time between los angeles and portland, but the project’s genesis is rooted in a childhood friendship cultivated in laguna beach. since forming a year ago, the duo has been stockpiling a collection of nocturnal pop songs that harness many of the salient attributes of chillwave but are examined through a sharply-focused lens.
haunt will release their latest ep, crush, on may 6th via portland-based track and field records. a short, intimate glimpse into the ep’s construction can be viewed above; below, you’ll find the premiere of its lead single, “perfume,” awash in gorgeous organ tones and armed with a subtle yet infectious hook. listen in.
wanderlust comes crashing back to reality on the opening line of alexei shishkin’s new single, “yucca street,” the title track of his forthcoming sophomore album. “haven’t made a meaningful connection in years / everyone always disappears or is it me?” he muses after meandering into the song’s foreground, bolstered by warm, home-recorded guitars and an unexpected piano interlude that joyously contrasts an otherwise-downtrodden demeanor. yucca streetis out february 19th via forged artifacts; dig into the title track below.
pure bathing culture are gearing up for the release of their sophomore album pray for rain, out october 23rd via partisan records. the portland duo shared the album’s confident title track towards the end of this past july, and earlier this week they offered up its second single. “palest pearl” finds pure bathing culture diving headlong into the 1980s, fixing a buoyant melody atop a cautionary lyrical tale derived from a seminal h.d. poem. the track is as gargantuan as its predecessor, at least in comparison to the more subdued approach the duo took on their debut moon tides; at this rate, pray for rain could easily be this fall’s most-underrated pop album. take a listen to “palest pearl” below.