It's Music Monday! Here's the best in new Portland music.
It shouldn't be a surprise that Nick Jaina's new album is worth listening to; he's been one of Portland's most reliable songwriters for years, over the course of five albums and works for other mediums including ballet and stage. But Jaina's sixth full-length, Primary Perception, is absolutely masterful, perhaps his best work yet and one of the strongest records of the year. Here's the naughty-word-laden lead single, which premiered on Spin last week. Primary Perception comes out April 16 on Fluff & Gravy Records, and Jaina plays a release show of sorts next week at the Doug Fir, on April 3.
LISTEN: Nick Jaina - "Don't Come to Me"
The quickest way to tell you about the Pynnacles is that they're the current band of local legend Sean Croghan (Crackerbash, Moustache, one zillion other bands). But the Pynnacles is decidedly a full band effort, with Scott Fox, John Cox and Dave Busaker of Satan's Pilgrims, drummer Thom Sullivan, and organist Tamar Berk all making vintage garage rock together. It's no surprise to learn that the band formed after one of the annual infamous Nuggets nights. They're releasing their self-titled album this Saturday, March 30 at Tonic Lounge, and here's the opening track, the engine-oil scream of "Donna," which evokes memories of the best Elvis Costello.
LISTEN: The Pynnacles - "Donna"
Lastly, here's a wonderful, wicked new track from Sama Dams. I wrote about the release show of their innovative new album—that's tomorrow at Bunk Bar, Tuesday March 26, be there—but here's a chance to hear their remarkable, challenging new work for itself. At times "Pretty Ghosts" approaches a conventional indie-pop song, but listen to those staggering drumstick clicks, that drunk-funk bass synth devouring the entire bottom end, those eerie backing vocals that could possibly be the pretty ghosts of the title. It's all deliriously, deliberately off kilter. When you hear No Vengeance, you'll know that Sama Dams is no mere buzz band but a fierce, adventurous musical force to be reckoned with.
LISTEN: Sama Dams - "Pretty Ghosts"
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!