Five can’t-miss tracks from the Northwest's best songwriters.
“Groundhog Day” by the Corin Tucker Band
After treading water with the first release from her post-Sleater-Kinney band, Corin Tucker again grabs the torch of pop feminism with this first single from her follow-up, a slashing and melodic litany of old grievances that have aged unfortunately well.
“I Need Love” by Sexton Blake
Before leading Portland’s confectionary dance band, STRFKR, Josh Hodges was a frustrated pop songwriter playing underappreciated electro pop songs as Sexton Blake. Five years ago, before abandoning that project, he recorded an album of covers, Plays the Hits! The album reappeared in a limited run earlier in the summer, this cover of LL Cool J revealing Hodges’ true pop genius.
“A Way” by Lotte Kestner & Daniel Blue
Anna-Lynne Williams has spent the last few years sporadically releasing lilting covers of indie rock classics under her Lotte Kestner moniker. This song is an original from her recently released B-sides album All That You Start and features her and Motopony frontman Daniel Blue in a tender, downcast dialogue about trying to find a way to stay away. Beautiful.
“Here” by Shadows on Stars
The debut self-titled album from Portland duo Shadows on Stars is an uneven collection of electronic pop songs that’s as discordant and deep as it is effervescent. “Here” is the latter, featuring a bed of sound that twinkles and skitters as bandmates Brian Vincent and Randa Leigh each add their own layer of human melancholy.
“4 Horsemen” by Champagne Champagne
A video-only release apparently recorded while the three-piece Seattle hip-hop band toured in France, “4 Horseman” is Champagne Champagne at its best, with a stabbing, slightly psychedelic instrumental and Pearl Dragon rapping about the end of the world as a matter of fact.