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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.





Buzz Alert: L'Freaq unveils video for "Moonlight," announces "Weird Awakenings" EP

We've been saying for years that female indie musicians have, on average, been producing a lot more interesting material than their dude conterparts, and L'Freaq, the project of bicoastal electronic singer songwriter Lea Cappelli, is another piece in the truly beautiful puzzle representing NYC women's musical output in the new millennium. After releasing the delicate yet edgy electro-soul ballad "Weird Awakenings," the artists has recently unveiled a darker (and even edgier) single/video combo with  "Moonlight" - streaming below. Channeling the experimental, noir ballads of Portishead, the track features a deceivingly sparse arrangement, blending a killer plodding and synchopated rhythm section with ever-evolving, ambient electronic soundscape. Lea's vocals not only confirm her noteworthy pipes and silky tone, but also reveals her ability to convey character to a performance and "play" the song's part, a trait only few musical performer possess. Don't miss her next live performance at Rockwood on February 2nd.





New Track: "Grand Canyon" (The Magnetic Fields Cover) - Worriers

On December 14, Living Statue Records will release You Can Sing Me Anything: A Tribute to 69 Love Song, with a plethora of artists covering The Magnetic Fields' classic album. Proceeds from the benefit compilation will be directed towards No More Dysphoria, a non-profit organization created with the goal of helping transgender individuals pay for major aspects of their transition. For their part, Worriers take on “Grand Canyon”. In lieu of the airy bounce of the original, there’s a reeled-in bareness to this version, which brings the emotive resonance to the forefront. Its forthright vulnerability is self-accepting, yet yearning for change.





Singer/songwriter Car Astor releases new single and plays Mercury Lounge 12.23

NYC-based artist Car Astor has given synth-pop a number of makeovers since beginning her solo career in 2016. Over the course of her two EP and two single releases, this singer/songwriter has displayed her talent as an emerging artist by mixing clean blends of synth-heavy electro pop. Her wide vocal range steers her sound, allowing her to deliver in formats ranging from poignant ballads to danceable hits. But it is Car Astor’s experimentation that pushes her music beyond the lines of her genre. Her most recent single, “Girlfriend,” (featured below) coolly executes a catchy pop melody, but is given depth with an electro-rock backbone and a defiant lyrical attitude. Though she may abide by archetypical pop song structures, this frontwoman’s darker style and killer vocal control is enough to give her sound a more sultry, polished edge. Her more touching songs, however, like “She Cries” and “Closed Eyes Open” off her first EP Ties, expose the softness around this artist’s edges with their rich arrangements and thoughtful substance.  Check Car Astor out for yourself on Soundcloud or Spotify and catch her playing live at Mercury Lounge on December 23. - Rebecca Carroll





Rose Droll sings it like it is, plays it at The Independent

This lady is a force! We feel empowered just listening to Rose Droll. A genre-less wonder, Miss Rose gives us a little bit of a lot of things and we want more more more. Samples are interwoven in tasteful snippets, from Lou Reed baselines to “This Little Light of Mine” lyrics. There are parts we can only describe as coy-strong lady rap, interjected at the perfect moments (a poetic “...so baby, when you gonna give a fuck?” in the same breath as a line from “Ring Around the Rosie”...what the hell? Yes!). There are colorful bursts of instrumental delight--all her own doings--and to accompany it all, is that voice: fluid, lovely and nailing every pitch it tries to reach. Like we said, she’s a class all her own, but in an attempt to compare: if you enjoy Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Tune Yards and badass versions of your favorite nursery rhymes, you’ll probably dig this as much as we do. Come see her at The Independent this Thursday the 13th where she’s playing alongside Pllush, Pardoner and SOAR. - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor 

 

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