best-emerging-bands-artists

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.

   

Sam DeRosa highlights mental health in new single "Sad Faces"

Sam DeRosa calls for a wellness check in her new single “Sad Faces,” and she could not be more timely: the month of October has been a long one already. Laced in the slapping/bap-bap beat that rides across a pop atmosphere is DeRosa’s call for universal cheerfulness, perseverance, and hope for a better tomorrow. The conversational, on-beat verses that segway into beautiful choruses show off DeRosa’s vocals, polished and sweetened with honesty. “Sad Faces” layers each sound so neatly without feeling overproduced: it’s intricate pop in production, simple and approachable in sound—the way it ought to be. Stream the bright music video for “Sad Faces” below for a reason to be cheerful. - René Cobar 

   

Ela Minus “Acts Of Rebellion” released on 10.23.20

A resident of Brooklyn via Bogotá, Ela Minus cut her musical teeth playing drums in a Colombian hardcore band before moving to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music, double-majoring in Drum Set and Music Synthesis. Today she's an analogue electronics auteur whose musical horizons are seemingly endless. On her debut full-length Acts of Rebellion (Domino Recording Company) Ela alternates between propulsive grooves and floating ambient soundscapes--the latter Eno-esque instrumentals given evocative names like “pocket piano,” “let them have the internet” and “do whatever you want, all the time.” These titles reflect Ela Minus’s lyrical approach elsewhere where she advocates for self-determination, empowerment and the search for one’s own natural rhythms. Speaking of which Acts of Rebellion makes for ideal late-night listening (“I never feel more myself than when it’s dark” she sings at the end of “dominique”) projecting a womb-like warmth onto the listener. (Jason Lee)

   

Gem Tree "Make Me Wanna"

Gem Tree recently released a new single called "Make Me Wanna" via Rosebud Allday. This is her third single of 2020 and follow-up to the Psych Pop ballad "Mums" which was released over the summer.

“Good Good” will be Gem Tree's debut EP and will be dropping this Friday, October 30th.

   

Pure Adult debuts new song in 10.16.2020 live set

It was just over a week ago that Pure Adult played a raucous set on BABY TV, the socially distanced version of indie venue Baby's All Right, and this writer is still recovering. The Brooklyn-duo-turned-live-foursome is known for filtering adult concerns--e.g., late capitalism, social control, granny panties--through a childlike impulsiveness whose end result is a big wonderful mess of burbling synths, stuttering drums, gratuitous guitar pedal abuse and brief spasms of strutting rawk. Pure Adult’s mix-and-match aesthetic is not unlike a kid let loose with a 128-count box of crayons, fresh piles of Play-doh and a prescription of Ritalin. The set below opens with the band’s as-yet-unreleased “Ain't I A Woman” (shout out to Sojourner Truth) segueing into “The New Guillotine” (see underwear fetish above), a track from the band's debut EP S/T (self-titled, that is). In these five minutes you get a pretty good idea of what they're about: a feral Foucauldian funhouse ride that's equal parts “queasy listening” and raw ecstatic rush. (Jason Lee)