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Portland Does SXSW: Necklace

In all the ways modern bands call back to classic styles, there seems to be one  group whose elements aren't as directly in use or recognized. Of course, The Beatles can be considered a band influential to everyone, whether direct elements and nods can be heard in an act's songs or not. But one of Portland's newest outfits, Necklace, take it to another level by creating soundscapes that call back to the group that invented fandemonium.

Not much is really known about Necklace, and they seem to like it that way. Little active online presence makes for a mysterious air about the band, leaving current and potential fans with some tweets, a couple of tracks and a series of gawdy but enjoyable pic art to use as profile pictures. Looking past their aesthetic, Necklace produce modern indie based in '60s pop. Their lyrics are driven by sarcasm that slightly offsets the lighthearted feel to their sounds, but somehow the package works as a whole. We're excited to watch them grow into one of the more bigger acts in town.

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PREMIERE: Sea Fuzz - "Garuda Dreams"

*photo by Eric Evans

All the little bits of sunshine we've the last couple days have been absolutely amazing, but the newest video and album from our favorite sunny shoegaze/ocean grunge outfit Sea Fuzz makes this Vitamin D daze we're all in even better.

The perfect follow up to 2015's self-titled EP, Sky Gazing is just the record we need going into the warmer months, boasting sounds reminiscent of rocking out to crashing waves while relaxing on the shoreline. Take the first single and video to come from the album, "Garuda Dreams," a gazed out track heavily led by forceful drumming and chaotic cymbal hits as an example. The track's light drenched sound is due in part its mixing, with the Om's drummer Emil Amos contributing to it.

"For this song, I was privileged to seek out the help of one of my favorite musicians of all time, Emil Amos, to help with the mixing and mastering," says Ben Heckler, the soul of Sea Fuzz. He goes on to say: "I gave the track to Amos and he completely transformed it, adding the perfect amounts of lo-fi grittiness to the vocals, guitar and drums. He really understood the aesthetic from the get-go and he knew precisely what the song needed to remain heavy and powerful, yet dreamlike."

Watch the trippy video for "Garuda Dreams" below. Sea Fuzz will be playing some shows locally and in Europe in support of Sky Gazing, out on Spirit Goth. Stream the album on Sea Fuzz's Soundcloud and Bandcamp pages. 





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: Danielseventwo

Portland is rich with many things, particularly wealthy people. Though the city is becoming incredibly gentrified and the few diverse cultures we used to have are being steadily pushed out, the music and creative community is trying its hardest to hold on to its roots. Musically speaking, the city isn't in any way wealthy with rappers, but Danielseventwo has firmly kicked his foot through the door.

At just 21 years old, Danielseventwo (aka 72) has been coming up in the rise of Soundcloud rappers, sticking to rhyming about what he knows about while others tend to use their bars for flexing on faux memories. His tracks swing between slower paced jams and quickly delivered flows, offering great variance by keeping listeners intrigued. He's dropped two EPs and a number of popping singles, including one of his newest trap heavy bangers "Priceless." Hopefully we'll be seeing more from him soon.

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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.

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