Portland-based pop band TENTS

Portland-based pop band TENTS

Courtesy of the artist

Each week, the Monday Mix features three new songs from the opbmusic broadcast. This time we highlight tracks from Portlanders Ages and Ages and TENTS, as well as Austin rock band White Denim.

 Ages and Ages - “Needle and Thread”

From the first high, twinkling note on the keys, you might think “Needle and Thread” from Portlanders Ages and Ages is simple, summery indie pop. But the band’s instrumental is juxtaposed with cutting political commentary. No, not about him. This time it’s directed at a mess of our own making. “Caught in the echo chamber, safe in the choir with the rest of my friends,” sings bandleader Tim Perry — ultimately questioning whether to jump in and be informed or stay blissfully unaware. They have an upcoming gig at the Aladdin Theater in Portland on June 1.

 White Denim - “Magazin”

Veteran music makers White Denim freely boast in their bio that they’ve “carefully and continuously studied the greatest records ever made, but they write songs just dumb enough to drink, dance, and fight to.” Whether that’s a little jaded or truly honest lies with the listener. Either way, their latest single, “Magazin,” proves that’s certainly not a band thing. The track shines brightly with creative energy, layering in horns, synths and a quintessential rock groove all held together with grungy distortion. It comes from their latest album, “Performance,” which is out on Aug. 24.

Tents - “Lilly”

On May 11th, the Portland four piece, TENTS, released their debut LP, “Deer Keeps Pace,” from Badman Recording Co. Self-described as comfort-pop, the track, “Lilly,” features a slow-burning 80s groove met with spacious guitar tones and warm harmonies from singers Brian and Amy Hall. Simultaneously unassuming and effortless, it’s the blend of gentle self-reflection in the lyrics that makes the song stand out. “Baby I could blunder, I’m a stubborn old grouch it’s true,” the couple sings together. A song written about the Hall’s adoptive daughter and released on an earlier EP, “Backyards,” it evokes feelings of joy and fear of inadequacy, while finding a way to come to terms with the beauty of it all. Catch them playing around Oregon and beyond all summer long.