Ellen Kempner of Palehound

Ellen Kempner of Palehound

Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

Welcome to the Monday Mix, where each week we highlight three songs debuting on the opbmusic broadcast.

Palehound - “Aaron” 

Boston based three-piece outfit, Palehound, is made up of singer/songwriter and guitarist Ellen Kempner, and the impressive rhythmic stylings of Jesse Weiss on bass and Lars Brogan on drums. The song is an early preview of their upcoming third full-length album, “Black Friday,” set to be released via Polyvinyl Records on June 7th. “Aaron” is a powerfully beautiful song, with a soft start that steadily builds toward a towering finish. A song dedicated to Kempner’s partner, who is trans, Ellen repeats her recognition and agreement to use their desired name with an “I can” and “I will,” melodiously transmogrifying the sound of her words into something far more ethereal. Catch Palehound on October 24 opening for Big Thief at the McMenamins Crystal Ballroom.

MAITA - “Kid Anymore” 

Oregon native, MAITA (Maria Maita-Keppeler), has come a long way since her first set of raw demos were released via Bandcamp in 2015. In early 2017, she released “Waterbearer,” a five-track EP featuring Skip Von Kuske (Portland Cello Project) on cello and Dave Depper (Death Cab for Cutie, Loch Lomond) on bass. “Kid Anymore” is MAITA’s contribution to the latest PDX Pop Now! compilation and hopefully a preview of more to come from this budding talent. Featuring distorted power chords, the song is a guaranteed head-bobber. Catch MAITA live on June 11 at The Ruins at Springhouse Cellar in Hood River, Oregon.

Martha Stax - “Your Style” 

Although they’ve been kicking around the Portland music scene for the past couple of years, Martha Stax is only just now beginning to have an internet presence. There’s some awesome talent here, with a lineup that includes former members of Star Club and Rare Diagram. “Your Style” is a jubilant, horn-heavy romp that could fit in perfectly as the theme song to a 70’s television show with its snazzy hook and sweet lingering aftertaste. Martha Stax has a couple of upcoming shows in Portland, including a free show at Rontoms this Sunday, May 5 with Mo Troper.