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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.





Katie Rush returns with new R&B-glazed album Stage Life

Katie Rush is everything that is great about synth-pop music: the group confidently delivers a sonic meteor shower that dazzles with its dreamy synth melodies and sonorous bass lines. The harmonious flow of the band’s latest album Stage Life comes from R&B-lacquered vocals and essential drum beats. The group’s ten-track album is a sweet ride from start to finish that is powered by the tender yet sophisticated singing style of lead vocalist Katie Wagner. Think of Katie Rush as a soulful alternative to synth-pop group of the moment Chvrches. The record is dedicated to the memory of band member Sam Mehran who helped write, produce, mix, and master the album. We have the title track here for you. - Rene Cobar





New Track: "Breathe Out" - Curtis Cooper

Philly's own Curtis Cooper has a new album coming out on June 3, titled Graceful, and you can now listen to its lead single, "Breathe Out," below. The song lyrically depicts how tension and anxiety tend to build and weigh us down. That compounding effect is countered by the bright, jangly guitar and percussive patterns. Then, the warm, vocal harmony relieves in an airy, uplifting manner as the recording opens up. That ability to create complex, vivid imagery and sound, while retaining a personal connection easily grabs one's attention and makes Cooper's next release something to look forward to.





New Music Video: "Body Says" - Void Vision

A new video for Void Vision's "Body Says" has arrived. The lead single, featured on Shari Vari's forthcoming album The Other, is due out later this year via Mannequin Records. Directed by Hanna Hamilton & Floor Eleven, a quartet of white-coated, vampire-esque individuals are onlookers to a bit of tantalizing entertainment. A hypnotic, danceable darkness consumes as a whole lotta freakiness falls under the spell of the music.

"A claustrophobic ode to physical and mental confines. Dark voguing, undulating bodies, DIY surgery and the increasing sensory stimulation compels the demonic watchers to become ravenous and bloodthirsty."





The Weird Years offer a new brand of folk music with their self-titled EP

The few tracks that have been released by the newly formed Brooklyn quartet The Weird Years showcase a unique hybrid of folk music. Employing slowly strummed guitars and vocal harmonies, the group initially shroud their sound with simplicity, dwelling on themes revolving around the march of time and the paradoxical feelings that come with being alone. It's only after prolonged listening that their DNA unravels, revealing a double helix that equally relishes in a slow-burning ambiance. It's an arresting combination which makes their EP deserving to be unpacked patiently. -Tucker Pennington

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