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Wishyunu

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Wishyunu Single Release: A Sampler of Psych

Walking in to Mississippi Studios last Sunday, it felt like the three band pairing of Cambrian Explosion, Jackson Boone and Wishyunu would be a strange one. Based on their recordings, it appeared that there was very little to tie all the music together aside from the fact that each band identified with psych music in some way. What seemed to be an evening of mismatched artists turned out to be an ideal sampler of all the variations that psych-rock can take. 

Cambrian Explosion played first, their set a dark dreamscape. Members of Cambrian Explosion appeared introspective on stage, incredibly invested in the music, which didn’t leave the audience with much to look at. However, the intricacy and unpredictability of the music gave the audience plenty to focus on: songs exploding surprisingly into sound, heavy distortion, and instruments blended so expertly it was difficult to decipher who was playing which part.  

Playing second was Jackson Boone whose take on psych is both dreamy and jazzy. Their set seemed like a fitting middle-ground between the dark vibes of Cambrian Explosion and the more pop-centric focus of Wishyunu. Jackson Boone’s specialty seems to be creating psych-pop lullabies that develop quietly into full psych-rock cacophony. “Open” was decidedly the most experimental song they played, straying away from the easy rhythms and soft melodies comprising most of their set. The crowd was receptive and seemed more willing to nod their heads along as the night progressed.

Wishyunu’s set started with some technical difficulty, probably in part because the duo is so busy on stage, with Bei Yan filling the role of guitarist, synth-player, and vocalist. As Yan sorted out her issues on stage, dropping in an out of sound, drummer Tony Bertaccini remained solid on the drums, helping the audience stay engaged as they waited. Wishyunu’s songs are progressive, layering beat on top of beat and then dreamily disintegrating melodies into new ones, catchy hooks giving way to unexpected drum fills. The energy of their set was frenetic, unlike Cambrian Explosion or Jackson Boone, their music made your blood move faster, catapulting you forward with them as they played.

Their new single “Photoplay” is a dark electro-pop song that seemed to show a new direction for the band, less ambient than their older songs and more driven. The other song off of their 7-inch, “Summer Suit” was ethereal and focused, especially compared to the older songs they played surrounding their new releases, again proving that Wishyunu has started refining their vision and sound. You can catch them next in Portland on June 21st at the Holocene. 

-Sarah Eaton

Photos by Lena Knofler

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Live Review: Radiation City and Friends 5.21

When awesome local bands are friends, powerhouse bills can come together like the one that took place at the Doug Fir Lounge last Wednesday night. Featuring Radiaton City, Sama Dams, and Wishyunu, it was an overall sexy lineup. During Rad City’s set, singer Lizzy Ellison even admitted they try to make songs you’d want to have sex to. 

Wishyunu opened to a pretty solid Wednesday night crowd, playing their loop-heavy electronic pop/rock. All set long smooth and beautiful vocals swirl over the hard-hitting drums. It’s always wonderful to hear how dynamic the duo is with layering and peeling back sounds throughout their songs.

Sama Dams’ set revels in the chaos and noise--bits of soul and pop mashed in with the ever-present math rock. Their powerful vocals, intricate beats, and heavily featured organ remind me of a gospel inspired version of Radiohead or maybe Dirty Projectors.

By the time Radiation City took the stage, Doug Fir was packed. A crowd full of eager fans cheered as the band opened up with a familiar tune from 2012's Cool Nightmares. While there were plenty of jams everyone could sing along to, the band also debuted a handful of brand new soul-packed swing/pop songs from the new album they’re currently recording. Think modern, sexy James Bond theme-songs, where classic groove meets sexy futuristic synth sounds. I hope we can all find the time to get laid listening to Rad City's new album once it's out, it’ll be the right thing to do. Also, shout out to drummer Randy Bemrose, who played despite having a broken elbow, wearing a sling and all. You couldn’t tell from listening to the set.

- Chandler Strutz

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Adventure Galley // Wishyunu // Just Lions // 4.9.14

Stop by Holocene Wednesday night for a night of dancy electro pop and fancy guitarwork. Headlining the evening, Adventure Galley have fancy new stage lights and new jams to showcase along with tunes off their November '13 debut LP Anywhere That's Wild. Wishyunu are second on the bill with their low-fi blend of electro pop, and Just Lions open up the night with their mellow guitar centric indie rock. Just Lions also have a brand new music video for you to enjoy. - Travis Leipzig

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PDX Pop Now! Compilation Release at Backspace 6.14

PDX Pop Now! is the culmination of the best aspects of Portland’s music scene. For the past ten years this free, three day festival has sought out our city’s most promising local acts and put them in front of an enthusiastic and diverse crowd of all ages. There isn’t a stage in town that can bring as much attention to a local band. You’ll have to wait until July 19th to enjoy this year's festival, but you can get a taste of what’s to come on Friday, June 14th at Backspace to celebrate the release of the 2013 PDX Pop Now! compilation album. This forty-three track, two disc release might be the best representation of the Portland music scene, featuring the sounds of Sama Dams, The Woolen Men, NTNT and many more. The release party will include performances by Sapient, Summer Cannibals, Sean Flinn and the Royal We, and Wishyunu. Be there to be the first to get your hands on the compilation and find out who’s going to be playing the festival this year. I’ll see you there. -Benjamin Toledo

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