This week’s opbmusic Monday Mix highlights new music from a few artists and bands that are coming through town soon. Hear powerful vocals from Valley Queen, a single from the psych-rock group Shadowgraphs and a response to gun culture from Rayland Baxter.
Valley Queen - “Chasing The Muse”
Valley Queen, an L.A-based roots rock group, is carried by vocalist Natalie Carol. The Southern-born musician takes on an almost British affect when she sings, especially during the single “Chasing the Muse.” When she belts, her voice sounds like Hop Along vocalist Frances Quinlan and Stevie Nicks had a child together. Carol’s rough voice stands out among the guitar, drums and keyboard, pulling the song from its meandering start to its crescendoing chorus. Catch Valley Queen at Pickathon from Aug. 3–5, and check out the band’s debut album “Supergiant” released on July 13.
Shadowgraphs - “Sun Is Rising”
Recent Portland transplant band Shadowgraphs show a lighter side to psych rock with the track “Sun Is Rising.” Rather than overburden the song with heavy guitars and too much synth, Bryan Olson and Wils Glade let the groove organically develop instrument by instrument. “We’re in another city/another time zone/but it’s all the same,” Wilson and Glade sing on the new track, maybe in ode to their new home.
Rayland Baxter - “79 Shiny Revolvers”
Rayland Baxter wrote the saccharine-coated criticism of America’s gun culture “79 Shiny Revolvers” during an isolated three-months in Kentucky. The alt-country artist culled much of the music he wrote during those months for his new album, “Wide Awake.” Like other singles from the album, Baxter approaches the subject matter in “79 Shiny Revolvers” by juxtaposing the dark lyrics with sunny Brit-pop. “Seventy-nine shiny revolvers pointing at me, love/and pointing at you,” he sings almost sweetly as the song grows to its chorus.
Baxter will play the Doug Fir on Sept. 9.