Grandhorse

Touchy Feely Records - Label Launch Party 10.3

Starting up a record label is a pretty big endeavor – it's as stressful as it is time-consuming, and in the age of self-publishing and rapid media consumption, it seems like a pretty thankless job. Fortunately, those reasons keep the half-hearted folks away, assuring that the labels that do exist are truly run by music lovers who are dedicated to supporting their community (be it local, national, global, what have you). And since these folks are dedicated to their community, it only makes sense that you can return the favor and support them, right? You don't have anything better to do this Friday night anyway.

The latest independent record label to enter the Portland fold is Touchy Feely Records. Their current roster consists of three acts Grandhorse, Dedere, and Sleep School, and more acts will surely follow in the coming months. This Friday, October 3rd, they'll be throwing a gigantic launch party in North Portland over at the Kenton Club. There will be free tarot readings, silent auctions, raffles, and of course, music.

It's a packed bill that night, featuring six bands, the center piece of which is Sleep School, releasing their first EP, White Girl Wasted. Other bands who will be performing include Grandhorse, Dedere, Bubble Cats, tigerface, and Hart & Hare. The festivities kick-off at 7pm with a price tag of $5 to get in. And before you decide, “It's not a free show, so I'm not going,” take a minute to a) think of how ridiculously entitled your attitude is and b) consider that you get a raffle ticket upon entry, meaning you could possibly win back way more than those five bucks you spent to get in.

This should be a seriously fun event, so come on down to the Kenton Club on Friday, October 3rd, and check it out! Find out more and RSVP over on Facebook at the event page, and while you're at it, give a like to Touchy Feely Records.

- Alexei Shishkin

   

In Review: Grandhorse, Tomten and Dedere at Habesha

Saturday night I found myself tucked away in a cramped corner of a packed Habesha Lounge. Part Ethiopian restaurant, part bar, and part venue, Habesha is a quaint spot full of variety and colorful characters, and the bill that night was built to match. 

Comprised of Grandhorse, Tomten and Dedere, the line-up was a diverse one. The show functioned as a tour kick-off for Grandhorse and Dedere, who will be hitting the road for the next 10 days. As for Tomten, Saturday night's show served as the tail end of a mini-tour where they hit Spokane, Boise, and Portland.

Dedere at Hebesha 

First up was Dedere, playing a heavy brand of post pop complete with pensive, melancholy songwriting. The band -- who traditionally has been a three-piece -- played as a four-piece, featuring a second guitar to help round out their sound. Dedere played a few songs off their new record which is in the works, with some stand-outs being "Hollywood Future Plans" and "Sacramento".

 

  

 

Tomten at Habesha

Seattle's Tomten came next, which was quite a departure from what we had just heard. My brain was having trouble adjusting to the crazy shift in tone from the first act to the second. Where Dedere ripped our hearts out, Tomten gazed at our hearts from afar and sat in fields with them. Tomten played their light, catchy style of baroque pop in the vein of acts like Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, and even early, psych-poppy Rolling Stones. Their single "Pipe Dream Boy" was particularly striking.

Grandhorse at Habesha 

Grandhorse closed the night out with a set full of psych-pop jams. The majority of the set was newer material, which is a bit slower and dreamier than the stuff off their debut album, Portraiturefolio. It's still coated in the same lush, gooey, hazy tones, but it's almost as if it was stretched out like a big ol' psychedelic taffy. It all strikes a nice balance, though, giving the set upbeat, danceable portions ("Short Drive With A Kidnapper") as well as introspective, jammy tracks to daydream to ("Port Townsend" for example). All in all, a fitting ending to a night showcasing a rich variety of styles.

Check out the rest of the photos from the show here

- Alexie Shishkin

 
   

Album Review: Portraiturefolio by Grandhorse

Formed in spring of 2012, Grandhorse gallops in with Portraiturefolio, their fierce debut effort. According to the band's bio, it all started with guitarist Adam Steinfink and drummer Devon Shirley writing songs in a "dank basement". Despite the dank origins, the two (along with guitarist David Lloyd and singer Adam Smith) have produced a cloud-worthy canon of celestial pop, bound for ascension. The opening track, "Short Ride With A Kidnapper" butts dark lyrics against deceivingly pleasant pop. "Out of Sight" is smothered in gloomy webs of guitar and "Ocean" gives us a simple, surf-laden 3/4 piece with a catchy 50's feel. "Heart Strings", my personal favorite, features an infectious guitar melody layered over a stable bass and synth drone. In all these tracks, Grandhorse has a keen way of adding in a layer of Tame Impala-esque fuzz. Portaiturefolio also shines in its lyrical complexity. In "Qualia", what appears at first to be a raucous party jam progresses into a poignant, philosophical commentary on substance use, perception and ultimate subjectivity. Another stand-out, the epic closer,"Petrichor", sets an enigmatic schizophrenic dialogue to a dense and driving backdrone, culminating in a wonderfully cathartic 4 minute jam of pure sonic release. Definitely worth a listen, Portaiturefolio depicts a band sure to be on to bigger things. - Ted Jamison