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Echo Pearl Varsity are our #1 players

Finding ways to make jazz even more ecclectic and interesting than it already is might seem a creative challenge. There are so many ways in which jazz commands attention that finding a way to make it individually intriguing requires some alternative approach. For Echo Pearl Varsity, Portland's jazz fusion post-rock hybrid group, that approach was near effortless and incredibly fitting.

It all started back in 2015, when lead songwriter Sam Luna, bassist Nolan Henderson and drummer Ian Taylor were working at a pizza shop together, yearning to add something original to Portland's (and, the general) music scene. Once they were joined by saxophonist Levi Downey, Echo Pearl Varsity was complete, and their sophisticated innovation of post-fusion came to be.

Their EP Tragic Bronson debuted their mellow yet mercurial production but their first full length, Fires, takes it to the next level. Establishing the band as leaders in this avant category, Fires shows EPV as masterful yet mallable and commanding yet flexible, with a willingness to flow with the orchestrative freedom post-rock and jazz allow. They'll be releasing an EP of cover songs in the next few months, coinciding with another tour.

Congrats to Echo Pearl Varsity for winning our poll and our hearts. Listen to Fires in full below. 

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Stream The Dovecotes's 'Humorless,' Out Today

Thematically centered around social anxiety, personal loss and other relatable content, the second full length from The Dovecotes is more than aptly titled. Humorless speaks on sadder subject manner, with the music not always reaching as low.

Staying on their same course of jangly dream pop, Humorless is the perfect follow-up chapter for the near two year old quartet. Over the course of eight days the band recorded and stripped down their new set of songs to keep their same powerful chord progressions and dynamic arrangements, with the help of producer Skyler Norwood. The results are complex and at times a bit unpredictable, though still true to The Dovecotes sound.

Celebrate the release of Humorless, along with a new album from the band Team Evil, tonight at the Alberta Street Pub. Your next chance to catch The Dovecotes won't be until the end of next month, during their show at the Secret Society with Risley and A Certain Smile

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Wild Pink releases dreamy debut LP, plays Baby's All Right on 04.18

Embracing at once gentleness, distortion, reverb and feedback, NYC trio Wild Pink crafts dreamo-pop that's enjoyable and varied. And in case you are wondering what "dreamo-pop" is, it's dream pop with traces of emo in it (you should have gotten that one!). After two EPs released in 2015 and 2016, the band dropped their debut, self titled full length earlier in 2017, and it's a record of rare songwriting consistency. They have two pretty solid local shows coming up, one at Baby's All Right on April 18, and one at BK Bazaar on May 20th. Check out single "Great Apes," streaming below

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