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Wampire (US)

In 2007, longtime best friends Rocky Tinder and Eric Phipps moved to Portland, Oregon and decided to start a band. With all the buoyancy and idealism of youth (being fresh out of high school at the time), and stimulated by the massive amount of creative output surrounding them in their new city, they sketched out a vision for a massive friend band - the possibility of getting every single one of their buds on stage and creating a monumental live show. Yet both boys have discerning taste, having backgrounds in music theory from a tender age, and questioned the logistics of a chaotic set-up. Moreover, they were enamored of the freedom that local dance music outfits had with their compact set-ups, allowing these acts to show up and throw d...

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Blouse (US)

Evolution is a tricky word when discussing current trends in music, especially when it comes to sophomore albums. The critically lauded “BLOUSE,” the 2011 debut from the Portland band of the same name was a lush, melodic and dreamy affair spiked with whoozy synths and delicate vocals. For “Imperium,” their 2nd LP for Captured Tracks, Blouse have shed the synths, done away with drum machines and wrote and recorded with “instruments that don’t plug into the wall,” as enforced by bandmember/producer Jacob Portrait.

Sonically speaking, that comes through on the LP immediately. Perhaps bolstered by the ongoing construction occurring next to the studio while the record was being made, the sense of force and urgency propelling the r...

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