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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.





Eggy oozes style in new live record, plays Orlando's 12.14

Almost as if you were there, well, you kind of are, the music of New Haven Connecticut’s Eggy oozes out of your preferred listening device, rich and runny in its latest record Live at Nectar’s 11​.​1​.​19. The band calmly and confidently plays signature tracks form its latest record Watercolor Days: sweet funk songs like “Graceless” and “Golden Gate Dancer” create an atmosphere that is both fun and intimate; surely Nectar’s, the music venue in Burlington, VT, and its crowd did not mind. The production, as is typical for Eggy’s live albums, is excellent, and one can fully immerse in the music without ever feeling detached from the live setting. We recommend this latest entry for fans of the jam-band feel this group deploys. The band is on tour, but it returns to Orlando’s in Burlington, VT, on December 14th for those that want to experience the fun live. Stream “In It For The Ride” below and dive right into the moment. - Rene Cobar, photo by Miles Hurley





Annie Hart to release second solo album, plays Union Pool on 12/13

Dreamy, introspective songwriter Annie Hart releases her sophomore solo album “A Softer Offering” this month, two years after her “Impossible Accomplice” debut. Already known as an innovative film composer and founding member of Lynchian synth-faves Au Revoir Simone, Hart continues to expand her body of work with this latest release. Opting for a more spacious, minimal sound, first single and video (streaming below) “Wilderness Hill” centers around a steady low note pulse and stark electric piano chords. With self -directed video footage shot in the songtitle referencing area of Margate, England combined with hometown Rockaway Beach imagery, Annie's hushed vocals match this early morning contemplative mood. Follow-up single “Don't Breathe For Me” employs singular held keyboard pads, angular electronic percussion and deep-twang melodies behind a raw vocal recitation on the need to move on. The whole album is a cohesive work that emphasizes the spaces inbetween our hectic lives, where our own thoughts are encouraged to mingle with the artists creations. The album is out in full on 12/13 with a release show that night at Union Pool. - Dave Cromwell





Muddy Ruckus offers a haunting brand of Americana, plays Stone Church 12.05

Back in October, Muddy Ruckus released a single pleasantly infectious, a song with a sinister rhythm that haunts. “From The Floor” is led by an ominous banjo riff that is followed by a thumping bassline, marching to the rich harmonies of both Ryan Flaherty and Erika Stahl on guitar and drums respectively. The duo that is Muddy Ruckus takes in this song, and their work at large, a more somber approach to America’s usually upbeat style, and it works. With eerie lyrics like “I’ve been sleeping for so long/ I don’t know what's right from wrong/ I don’t know if I was ever born at all/ Something’s happening again/ Hey man don’t you understand?/ There are voices coming up/ from the floor.” the Americana music the duo produces has a deliciously ghastly tinge. The Auburn, ME, duo will be playing on December 5th at the Stone Church in Brattleboro, VT. Stream “From The Floor” below for something different today. - Rene Cobar, photo by TBERG Photography





Of The Trees explores a feral-chill complex in new single "Honeydust" ft. Kala

Where can you find an artist producing refined, potent, and intoxicating dubstep? One may say Las Vegas, NV, before Portland, ME, but one should reconsider. Portland’s Of The Trees recently released an exotic-rhythmic electronic track honeyed with ambient-distorted noises that evolve the beat into an experience. “Honeydust” ft. Kala is both chill and feral at once with its bossa nova tinge and reggae whispers: a sonic jaguar just waking up. It is refreshing to see this genre blossoming among the vast greens of Portland, Maine, and we can thank Of The Trees for that. Of The Trees, known to some as Tyler Coombs, is touring the United States at the moment, and hyping up his fans for the release of his EP, Tanglewood, December 12th. Stream “Honeydust” ft. Kala below and enjoy that Cowboy Bebop sample at the end of the track because we sure did. - Rene Cobar, photo by Maya Tihtiyas

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