interviews, myth, nature, Vortex Music Magazine

Wonderly: ‘Bayocean’ [Video Premiere]

Get ready to explore some little-known Pacific Northwest history with the celebrated Portland duo, starting with the story of Oregon opulence that fell into the sea.

If ever there was a time for an informed and inspired historical perspective on humanity’s hubris and oddities, this must certainly be it. Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Portland duo Wonderly took some time out from famously scoring podcast themes (The Daily), TV shows (BoJack Horseman) and indie films to create a series of songs and short films of their own. Originally called True & Tall Tales of the Pacific NorthWeird, the five-song EP due out January 29 is now aptly renamed Story We Tell Vol. 1. Wonderly collected odd stories from the region in collaboration with authors, live-action filmmakers, animators, native storytellers, artists, and local music legends like soul singer Ural Thomas to smartly package and present actual Pacific Northwest legends in the form of narrative music videos.

READ the rest at the Source: Wonderly: ‘Bayocean’ [Video Premiere] | Vortex Music Magazine

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Do Ra: ‘Sound of Me’ [Video Premiere]

Singer-songwriter Jeremy Hollen gives you three ways to enjoy this new release—as a cinematic single, a technologically enchanting lyric video, and a Behind the Song video.

Then there’s the sweet genius of the lyric video choreographed as one long text with emojis — a rebus for the modern, asynchronous age of telling all of our stories online. “When I first posted ‘Sound of Me’ on Instagram, for some reason, I used emojis, so in my head that’s what it always was,” Hollen says.

More poignantly, Hollen confesses that the creation of the video was done in just over an hour while in bed — a story that tracks with Corona Times.

“Sound of Me” turns on elegant variations of the musical and lyrical themes with Hollen’s vocal cadence pausing mid-syllable, creating gentle and masterful internal rhymes: “There isn’t more an orange nor as fine a shine” and word puzzles like “Take the ‘NEVER’ in ‘adVENturRE’ out.”

But at the center of the song in question, what “Sound of Me” is asking, is what way are you going to look at the world, and what sound are you going to make? It has a simple answer: “It’s an A HA HA!” It’s the sound of our own laughter, a necessary medicine we all need right now.


READ the rest at the Source: Do Ra: ‘Sound of Me’ [Video Premiere]  | Vortex Music Magazine

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KAZU and the Cradle of Elba | Vortex Music Magazine

Taking exile from city life, Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead is reborn as a solo artist on ‘Adult Baby.’

“I needed to do an album that was all mine, far from the dynamics intrinsic to being part of a band.” To that end, the album is an exploration of sound, mixing synthesizers, Moog, gauzy and trance-like vocal loops, gentle percussion, sparse liquid pianos and elevated cinematic movements from The Art Orchestra of Budapest. Recorded in New York, Berlin and Milan, Adult Baby  is both island and city—moving from intimate spaces to vast expanses and back again, like Makino who split her time on three-month visas, living between Elba and New York during the process. The songs sound like whispers coming off the coast of a foreign somewhere, of traveling the sea at night, the warmth of a window ledge open to the sun, and moments of isolation and experimentation, like shining light on deep, dark water and diving under.

READ the rest at the Source: KAZU and the Cradle of Elba | Vortex Music Magazine

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The Color of Sound | Vortex Music Magazine

Myles de Bastion of CymaSpace and Audiolux Devices lights the way for inclusive encounters with music through his groundbreaking technology.

Sound, as it happens, is mathematical. The circle of fifths is like a songwriter’s magic shortcut, expressing the relationship between keys and simplifying chord creation. Mapping this to colored lights allows de Bastion to see what notes are being played by various instruments when improvising, which, more importantly, enables him to turn music into multi-sensorial compositions.

“People want the ‘cool lights’ but we use it as a conversation starter to greater inclusion and accessibility for those with disabilities,” he says. This work not only helps events to be more accessible and inclusive to the deaf and hard of hearing but makes a sensory impact on everyone in attendance.

READ the rest at the Source: The Color of Sound | Vortex Music Magazine

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‘Through Frames’: Lorain Explores the Edges of Loneliness | Vortex Music Magazine

The debut album from Lorain captures the solitude of rural landscapes, the loneliness of towering cities, and the isolation of our lives on social media.

Lorain’s sound is like hard twilight glinting off a dusty windshield, a rain-swept prairie, the warm and soothing drone of tires on paved road rolling towards a foreign and endless horizon. It’s the kind of album you play in the car on a road trip as you leave home, on a night drive lit by a sickle moon and stars, or a sleepless wander under the kaleidoscopic glare of illuminated signs and passing street lights.

READ the rest at the Source: ‘Through Frames’: Lorain Explores the Edges of Loneliness | Vortex Music Magazine

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‘You, Sir,’ Must Hear Abbey Hendrix Find Her Voice | Vortex Music Magazine

After years of making music, whether in school, bands or the industry, some encouragement from producer Adam Brock and Lenore.’s Joy Pearson helped push Abbey Hendrix to finally realize her full-length, solo debut of jazz-influenced folk.

You, Sir opens with a tender and twinkling piano waltz of a song called “Enough.” Hendrix’s voice lilts here and there like Mozart’s starling, while on others, you hear the strong jazz-influenced folk of Joni Mitchell (in the style of Court and Spark and Blue). Vocals soar and stack into choral symphonies and dissolve into classical compositions with jazz sensibilities—there are some decidedly expressive and cinematic soundscapes in this collection of songs.

READ the rest at the Source: ‘You, Sir,’ Must Hear Abbey Hendrix Find Her Voice | Vortex Music Magazine

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Fake Fireplace: ‘School Spirit’ [Video Premiere] | Vortex Music Magazine

The former Willamina High School in Willamina, Ore., is in the middle of a transformation into the West Valley Community Campus, a new community center for arts and culture. In a state of somewhat disarray, what better place to film the new music video for Fake Fireplace’s “School Spirit”?

…making appearances in the video are all the visually poignant details of attending school in the ’80s—the chalkboard traced with penmanship lines, the sentimental grind of the pencil sharpener, jamming books into an overflowing locker, writing documents to a floppy disc drive, the IBM Standard Issue Clock ticking away endless hours, the world globe, and the school dance.

READ the rest at the Source: Fake Fireplace: ‘School Spirit’ [Video Premiere]

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Moorea Masa & The Mood ‘Shine A Light’ | Vortex Music Magazine

After touring the world with k.d. lang, the soulful 25-year-old is set to release her debut record on May 11.

All life seeks balance. Without an opposite—a contrary or complementary state—we cannot appreciate the cycles of nature and the way we move through life as people. All those negative and positive forces of change are illuminated on Shine A Light, the first full-length release from Moorea Masa & The Mood . . . Shine A Light is a collection of 10 songs reflecting a cycle of internal exploration and external conversations. It is equal parts personal and political. The album tackles the heavy topics of sexism, police violence and abuse, while balancing them with a profound sense of self, expectations, love and letting go. It is the essence of strength and vulnerability of a woman living in our very current and collective reality.

READ the rest at the Source: Moorea Masa & The Mood ‘Shine A Light’


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Laura Veirs: Devotional Experiments | Vortex Music Magazine

The singer-songwriter observes where nature, science, art and activism intertwine on her 10th solo record ‘The Lookout.’

The Lookout is an electrified ecosystem of songs set under sapphire skies, in desert canyons and moonlit meadows, on sunlit oceans and over starlit landscapes, flush with color in burgeoning green, gold and red, and filled with the sounds of campfire, wolf howls and painted winds. Veirs’ harmonic vocals resonate like calls through a canyon . . .

READ the rest at the Source: Laura Veirs: Devotional Experiments | Vortex Music Magazine

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White Devils and ‘Sacred Nights’: In Conversation with David Bazan

In the darkest time of the year, perhaps even, in our culture and our larger world, Bazan invites us to “admit your despair to safe people in your life this Christmas. Be a safe person for others. Feel better. Jesus Christ, you guys.” It’s an honest Christmas wish we could all find some truth and light in.

David Bazan has been remixing and remastering a lot of different things lately. His music. His workflow. His life. He’s been incorporating old songs and sensibilities into new endeavors, like releasing his first music video, embarking on a documentary about his “existential, artistic and family life,” and touring with a very unlikely holiday album collected from annual yuletide song releases, dating back to his Pedro the Lion days.

No matter the sound—from guitar strings to symphonics or synthesizer—nor the venue—whether it’s a house show or concert hall—one beautiful consistency remains in Bazan’s music: his raw, emotive vocal delivery of difficult topics, from faith to politics and all the human faults in between.

READ the rest at the Source: White Devils and ‘Sacred Nights’: In Conversation with David Bazan