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PDX Does SEA

Seattle has no legitimate claim on strummy/clappy campfire-pop other than we do it better than everyone else. (See: the Cave Singers, Fleet Foxes, the Head and the Heart, the Duchess and the Duke, the forehead-slappingly-named Campfire OK.)

Portland septet AgesandAges is essentially the Cave Singers x 2, but that's fine, because this song, "So So Freely," is brilliant. It starts with a group-sung refrain, then adds a dual-vocal lead, both of which braid into a round that coalesces into a beautifully harmonized crescendo. The song's non-linear structure calls to mind Fleet Foxes at their Ren Fairest; its propulsive acoustic guitar and minimal drums the Cave Singers; its jubilant boy/girl harmonies the Head and the Heart.

Again, all the soundalike references in the world don't matter when you write a song as sweet and simple and catchy as this.

AgesandAges' debut album, Alright You Restless, comes out 2/15 on Knitting Factory Records. They play Columbia City Theater on 3/4 with Drew Grow & the Pastor's Wives before embarking on a national tour in April.