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Artist of the Month
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August 2015
LOUDS
"If More People Bought Art More People Would Buy Art
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With their debut EP If More People Bought Art More People Would Buy Art, LOUDS hits the nail on the head with its appealing out of the gates energy. Released via Color Theory Records, the Brett Boucher-produced EP instantly grabs a hold of the body’s desire to let loose. 
 
The group leads with its best foot forward with its debut single and album opener, “Ways.” The standout track has a warm, vamping synth and those dare-you-to-keep-your-hands-still claps, which are melded with the sugary, chiptune sonic blasts. That bubbly, dance-inspiring vibe is cut through and juxtaposed by lyrics that form the picture of a hot and cold relationship. “The love you’ve known sailed from you one evening, months have gone now you don’t feel the same.”
 
Wisps of light guitar, keys, and gentle percussion converge in the narrative of  “Lying in the Middle” with its upbeat Paul Simon-Graceland vibes. The rolling hills that are ready to break out with exasperations chronicling the fickle courtship. “It’s the wrong way to approach it, but I know that your heartaches after months of feeling kind of confused. One day I’ll be lying in the middle with you.” The song concludes whimsically with Beatles-esque harmonies:  “My arms are tired, I’m half awake, but finally there with you.”
 
From the alarm bell, to the to the approaching bass and organ tone leading into those sinister strings, anticipation rapidly builds in “Driving Us Together.”Once again, the band dives into the complexity of relationships. Amid that layered fluid instrumentation, which creeps and momentarily bursts, underlies a sincere thought: “I’ve been trying to forget you but I don’t know how. Driving us together don’t erase your doubt.” The song simplifies down to a strumming guitar as echoes of “goodbye” come through before meeting up with the heartbroken chorus.
 
Strumming sets off into the echo of menacing tumbling keys in the chest-thumping, never-tell tale “It Takes Two.” “We’re alone in your best friend’s basement. You’re the one who brought me down... As we talking my hearts raising, I hope you don’t figure out” leading into the smoothed chorus: “Cause everybody knows it takes two…” That weaving in and out creates a lively yet personal sense.
 
If More People Bought Art More People Would Buy Art threads a layered vibrant in-motion musicality with a relatable multifaceted tug and pull aspect of intimacy, zooming in on all sides while never sitting still. The EP is an impressive debut from the fledgling electropop outfit that ends way sooner than you’d like it to conclude. - Michael Colavita

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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

Read it digitally here.

P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!


Just Lions playing Mississippi Studios on August 21

 Formed here in Portland in 2008, Just Lions is a pop, rock, and jazz trio consisting of brothers Chandler and Brady Strutz, and their longtime friend Andrew Shepherd. Over the course of their time together, the group has managed to put out three EPs (currently available on Bandcamp and Noisetrade), and with influences ranging from The Beatles to The Strokes to Elliot Smith, its no surprise that they're able to combine a satisfying variety of musical elements into their songwriting. The title track from their latest EP, "Great. Okay." (streaming below), is a radio-friendly indie-pop gem rife with infectious whistling and catchy melodies, while the final track, "On the Road," showcases the group's ability to employ more complicated rhythmic and melodic work, as well as to combine elements across various genres (in this case, rock & roll intensity, jazz complexity, and bluesy guitar play). The trio just recently signed with Randm Records out of San Diego and they've begun work on their first full-length album. In the meantime, you can catch them tomorrow night, August 21, at Mississippi Studios. - Patrick Wolff

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Northern Youth announce show at The Foggy Notion on Sep 26th

 Northern Youth, the solo project of Portland-by-way-of-California musician Luke Messimer, released a 4-song EP, "Color," this past June on Astro Lizard Records. The songs on "Color" are an assortment of folk-influenced indie-pop tracks that are reminiscent of such popular acts as Delta Spirit or Dr. Dog. "Hide You Away," the third track on the EP (streaming below), is a glistening, 6-minute composition of nostalgic melodies and lyrics fit for cruising along coastal highways, while the opening track, "Misunderstood," offers a glimpse into the darker side of Messimer's indie influences, even including some elements of punk rock. Overall, the EP offers 4, well-crafted examples of what this artist is capable of, and it warrants at least a couple of listens. As of today, Northern Youth has announced a number of upcoming shows, including one on September 26th at The Foggy Notion, so be sure to check them out! - Patrick Wolff

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Tiny Little Empire working on sophomore EP

  Apparently "lured into existence from the depths of a Portland basement," Tiny Little Empire is a young indie-rock quartet with a refreshing sound. The group released their freshman, four-track EP, "Above Ruins," back in May, and the debut single, "It's Working Now" (streaming below), serves as a powerful introduction to their sound. The track opens with intensity (a wistful guitar and keys melody layed over a driving percussion section), rising and falling from there between valleys of hushed verses and mountains of passionate and hauntingly melodic choruses. The rest of the EP ("All That I Want," "Make Me Stay," and "Weather the Storm") carries on in a similar tone, with the bass and the drums driving spirited-yet-somber melodies and vocals. Overall, "Above Ruins" is 21-minutes of polished indie-rock tracks that make quite the first impression. While Tiny Little Empire currently has no scheduled shows, their sophomore EP is reportedly in the works, so be sure to keep an eye out. - Patrick Wolff

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Q&A with Wild Ones about gear and creative process - "Heatwave" EP out now

Led by Danielle Sullivan's gentle and compassionate voice, Portland's indie pop outfit Wild Ones sounds anything but wild, although they do enjoy experimenting with sounds, which - in a sense - is kind of wild! Their music has the ability to sound at once warmly intimate and somewhat cerebral. This is must be the product of the fusion of the creative minds and talents of Danielle and keyboardist Thomas Himes. Our sister blog Delicious Audio asked them a few questions about their gear and compositional process. Link to the interview below. The band just released a new EP entitled "Heatwave," they'll be playing Mississippi Studio tonight (08.14).

LINK: Delicious Audio's Interview with Wild Ones.

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best songs by emerging Portland artists - check it out!

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