Our friend and long-time contributor Ray Gill, Jr. has decided to step away from this weekly round-up of new music releases. This is the final edition of the Monday Mix. We couldn’t think of a better send-off than an article that highlights some of the best music from the 2022 edition of the PDX Pop Now! compilation. The annual compilation (and accompanying music festival) is organized by an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to stimulating and expanding participation in Portland’s music scene. Here are some of our favorites.
Hanna Haas — “Crow Song”
Portland songwriter Hanna Haas’ self described “contemplative folk” music is a standout on this year’s PDX Pop Now! compilation. “Crow Song” features playful banter between the vocals and guitar work. It’s a strong bedrock for the song’s playful elements to explore the spaces in-between.
Autopilot is for Lovers — “Elephant”
Autopilot is for Lovers consists of songwriter Adrienne Hatkin and Paul Seely. The duo turns up the volume on this aggressive submission called “Elephant.” The track masterfully exploits the purest elements of rock music, accented by thumping percussion, heavy bass, screaming guitar, and Hatkin’s trembling vocal angst.
Rose City Rising Crew — “Animal Control”
Rose City Rising Crew is a hip-hop project affiliated with the Portland all-ages non-profit Friends Of Noise. It features a slew of teenage artists who are joined by veteran emcee Mic Capes on this track called “Animal Control.” The song is a head-bouncing banger with intense lyrics from the youngsters who unapologetically impugn the flawed world they’ve inherited.