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Vow of Volition Make the Final Round of the Battle for Warped Tour

The Vans Warped Tour was the first festival for many of us back in the day. As young'ns, it's likely we didn't necessarily think about all that went into figuring out the bands to book and play the whole shebang. Part of that process, at least locally, seems to be through a series "battle of the bands" style competitions specifically for landing a spot on the fest. Quite a few Portland bands have been furiously playing against one another for said spot, and djent/prog metal act Vow of Volition are one of the acts that made it to the finals.

Warped Tour was always the type of festival that included much in the realm of pop punk, punk punk, emo and metal, so Vow of Volition's advancement to the final round is no surprise. Their incredibly technical, at times jazzy metal stands out in Portland's pretty linear popular music scene, and is much worthy of the attention its getting.

Those that want to support Vow of Volition in driving home the permanent spot can go to the Battle for Warped Tour finals Saturday at the Hawthorne Theatre.





Pet Fox previews new record with electric single "Swerving," plays ONCE 07.24

They say the best things come in small packages, that could not be more true for Pet Fox’s new single “Swerving.” The Boston-based trio packs a lot of surprises into the one minute and twenty-three-second song: a somewhat disjointed compilation of acoustic and electric guitar strains are held together by a solid drum rhythm as they rage beside warm vocal harmonies. The summery vibe of the single comes from the group’s tendency to permeate its indie rock with ‘60s pop overtones, but the edge comes from its math-rock understanding. “Swerving” is a preview of the group’s upcoming record Rare Occasion out everywhere July 19th. The band will be playing ONCE in Somerville on July 24th, and we are streaming “Swerving” to keep its sizzle going. - Rene Cobar





Aan's Grief is Palpable on Losing My Shadow

Aan released their latest album, Losing My Shadow, last month via Fresh Selects. Losing Shadow is frontman Bud Wilson's way of recreating the mental and emotional spaces created by grief, and what purposes these new spaces can serve. The album has clean percussive hits, accented by syncopations that throw the song off just enough to make you really appreciate the way the music shapes itself. The album's first single, "Truly Massive" is the sort of mournful, space-cowboy ballad that could only be made by a psych band. It's hard to explain the feelings that the song evokes, a shadowy combination of pain, longing, and the hope for a reunion. Wilson's voice carries all of these emotions and more. It is touching and sentimental but retains the sort of wistful aloofness that leaves you feeling like something important is just barely out of your reach. The album is an incredibly impressive emotional project, one for which Wilson should be commended. 

-By Avril Carrillo





New Track: "Get Lost" - Queen of Jeans

Queen of Jeans's forthcoming album, If you're not afraid, I'm not afraid, is slated to arrive on August 23 via Topshelf Records. The trio recently shared a new video, co-directed by Miriam Devora & Bob Sweeney, for its lead single, “Get Lost”. It appears to also mark the departure of Nina Scotto from the group. (You can check the debut single, "Time Is Right," from her new project Pouring Silver HERE.) Addressing feelings of isolation and sadness and coming to terms with them through personal strength and acceptance, the band's latest track gathers anthemic momentum. It's an absolutely lovely sampling of what's to come. You can catch Queen of Jeans headlining Boot & Saddle on Friday, September 6. 





Fresh Buzz: Ghost Funk Orchestra Releases Single, "Skin I'm In"

The output of NYC-based Ghost Funk Orchestra is becoming increasingly more sophisticated, and the group is also playing more frequently this year, which is always a good sign. Their most recent LP release, A Song For Paul (a band member's grandfather) is a complex matter propelled by a 10-piece band comprising horns, woodwinds, strings, keys, a tambourine, on top of the expected drums/bass/guitar. Their latest single "Skin I'm In" is an excersize of restrained psychedelia at times reminiscent of unforgettable British band Broadcast.

Featuring effected vocals that span layers of groovy orchestral textures, the single seemlessly blends elements from ganres as disparate as funk, noise rock and Eastern music. This is one of the coolest track we stumbled upon this year; you can check out Ghost Funk Orchestra at Elsewhere on July 30th at 8 PM. - Susan Moon

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