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PREMIERE: Barra Brown - "Poem No. 8: The Thread (feat. Gregory Uhlmann)"

*photo by Reed Ricker

Conceptually speaking, the basis of Barra Brown's Poem Project is something to pay much attention to. Coming out on Cavity Search next month, Poem Project takes Barra Brown's single "Poem" and sees it interpreted by eight different musicians from across the country. From members of groups like Ages and Ages, The Shins and Radiation City among others, Poem Project's participating artists breathe new life into an already amazing song.

Under a set of specific parameters, each artist was allowed to play with the original structure of the song while providing their own lyrics as part of the transformation. The one of particular focus today is from Los Angeles folk musician Gregory Uhlmann, who produced the softly intimate folk of "Poem No. 8: The Thread." Uhlmann's orchestration has made for a beautifully minimal track, led by rich vocals and slow, warm instrumentation.

Listen to "Poem No. 8: The Thread" below and be on the lookout for Poem Project's release April 7.





A Deli Premiere: The Dream Eaters' "Neanderthals"

The story of NYC's The Dream Eaters is an example of how muses can overthrow one's will: vocalist Jake Zavracky had given up on the business of creating and performing music altogether when he met his soon-to-be partner in crime, Elizabeth LeBaron, at a bartending gig in Brooklyn. After some initial collaboration, LeBaron and Zavracky began to make music under the rather unimaginative moniker “Jake and Elizabeth,” which was wisely changed to the current denomination just in time for the release of their (charmingly understated) 2016 self-produced debut EP, "Five Little Pills."

The duo's upcoming debut full length "We Are a Curse" is a work that marks both the creative peak and new beginning of the duo’s artistry, drawing upon experiences of the past while remaining entirely relevant to the day. Their single, “Neanderthals” (premiering below), though written by Zavracky during the Bush/Cheney administration, serves as an effective and artful jab at the current one. Its overtly angry political chorus, however, “They won’t make us crawl / They’re all Neanderthals” is undercut by a sincerer account of the helpless emotional state that toxic politics can leave us feeling trapped in: “Take your medication / Practice condemnation / Stay inside your houses now”. Two themes compete to govern the track: one of dejected submission to power and one of defiance. Drawing on the sonic influences of stock dream poppers like Beach House and The Antlers, the band adopts melancholic vocal lines to load their lyrics with an added emotional charge. Though the song’s sonic architecture is designed to shoot us into space, the lyrics bring us down to earth, mentally instilling a sense of duality, a contrast and elasticity that feels refreshing. It’s hard not to want to be a part of this band’s emergence. You can pre-order their debut album, slated for release on April, 14th or attend their upcoming shows at Halyards (4/8) or Rockwood Music Hall (5/10). - Andrew Strader 





Portland Does SXSW: Alexandra Savior

Not all that glitters in the bright eyes of youth is gold, and Alexandra Savior seemingly proved that to herself. The 21-year-old songstress has a velvety croon that melts into your ears like butter, but the soothing comfort listeners get from her vocals didn't comfort the sadness in her own soul.

Right out of high school, Savior moved from the Portland suburb of Vancouver, Wa to Los Angeles to jump start her music career. Her trip was successful, quickly granting her a record deal with Columbia Records and a creative partnership with Alex Turner, the frontman for the Artic Monkeys, but while positivity was coming from all directions work wise, Savior felt there was a social disconnect between her and her new Los Angeles peers. She even told local paper Willamette Week how she thought many of them were "the devil or something" because of her youthful insecurities.

But she's turned all of those woeful feelings into inspiration for her songs. Think Lana Del Rey meets Kate Bush, Savior's tracks have themes of heartache and regret, living up fully to the designation of melancholy pop. Her debut album, Belladonna of Sadness is due out next month.





Portland Does SXSW: Marisa Anderson

 There's a certain beauty that comes with creating something all on your own, especially when it comes to music. Marisa Anderson takes that beauty and runs with it, mastering various instruments including including guitar, lap steel and slide to produce a very veracious and particular compositions. 

Often improvised, Anderson's emotive, mercurial sounds flow through different genre styles like Delta blues, gospel and old school Americana. She uses no effects or looping, making her productions even more personable, even granting collaborations with Mirah and Beth Ditto among others. 

She hasn't played a show locally in a little while, but at least those enjoying SXSW will get to catch her live.





Premiere: Road trip vibes take Pueblo back home in new music video

Texas transplants, Pueblo, moved to Brooklyn last year, taking with them the ease and warmth of the southern state. These characteristics define the band’s sound, especially in the new video for their song “Dictating Directions.” In footage depicting a road trip adventure, the tempered beats of the percussion glide alongside a smooth electric guitar and soft, laid-back vocals. The slowed motion of the video is trance-like, and the whole thing feels like a dream. Perhaps it is. Pueblo’s new EP Boring The Camera is out March 31 and catch them live tonight, 3/17 at Trans Pecos-Geena Kloeppel

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