This year’s lineup at Treefort is tremendous in scope. There’s a veritable smorgasbord of genres to choose from. As an experiment, I analyzed the sounds that will be served up in just one hour at Treefort, from 8-9pm on Friday, March 27th. Before I even made it halfway through the list of 25 bands that will play or begin to play before that hour is up, I had listened to everything from new-disco to post-punk, sitar psych to brainy indie rock, heavy noise to indie pop, and one of the most influential names in 90s indie rock just to sweeten the pot.
So with all this on the menu, what’s an eager Treefortier to do? Take advantage of this aural wealth and check out the gamut of tunes to broaden your music-loving minds, of course. Here are some of Portland’s favorite, unique bands known for genre-bending that you can catch at Treefort. Half of Portland is going and we know that we missed a lot of excellent artists, so leave your favorites in the comments below.
Muscle & Marrow are a Portland duo that have grabbed hold of sweeping, atmospheric doom metal in one hand and soft, intelligent operatic prose in the other, and shaken them up until what feels like a new genre has fallen out. Vocalist Kira Alexandra Clark’s voice can be a whisper or a weapon. We asked her about her voice training and what it takes to wield that range.
“I briefly took voice lessons five or so years ago and learned how to breathe properly. That’s about the only technique I still use. My teacher told me I sound like a sheep when I use my vibrato. I obviously don’t care as I use my vibrato all the time. I like having knowledge of correct technique so I can ignore it completely. Now I’m really focusing on my scream. I had a breakthrough while recording the song for our video we just released, “Ritual.” Women are taught to be quiet, to be pretty. I’m trying to unlearn that.”
Ignoring her teacher’s advice is obviously working well for them. With their first release, The Human Cry, garnering an impressive amount of press, we’re willing to bet that in a few years theirs will be a show to brag about having attended. For more from Muscle & Marrow, come back the weekend of the festival for the full-length interview, where we’ll dig deeper into beauty vs. dischord as musical technique and social commentary and the merits of a good scream.
See this show if: you have ever cast a spell to take down the patriarchy, you hope to be taken to Valhalla by a depressive Valkyrie upon your death, you are interested in the voice as a weapon, you paint your eyebrows to reflect your mood.
For listeners of: Swans, Suicide, Chelsea Wolfe, Witch Mountain, Rose Kemp.
The Ghost Ease are a dreamy three-piece grunge-rock group, featuring a compellingly driven rhythm section all wrapped up in a soft blanket of fuzz and introspective lyrics. It’s that elusive combination of the hard and the soft that are behind the magnetic allure of the Ghost Ease, whose themes of love and astrology give a magical aura to their songs. After a compelling first album, the trio successfully funded a Kickstarter earlier this year to record their second album with the illustrious Steve Fisk. We’re hoping to hear some of those new songs at Treefort.
See this show if: you checked your horoscope to see whether or not it was a good idea to attend Treefort, you like your music as fuzzed out as your flannel, you always wished that Cat Power and Bikini Kill would have a sound-baby.
For listeners of: La Luz, Vivian Girls, The Breeders, rock and roll played from the astral plane.[/full]
Like a Villain is a one woman show with the power of an entire choir. She has a clarinet, she has a sound board, and she has a voice that will make you fall to the floor, then it will pick you back up and give you a hug because it understands. Drawing inspiration from Broadway and Bjork, Holland Andrews of Like a Villain defies genre to build a brave new world of sound. She also knows how to command a stage.
See this show if: you pretend you’re Bjork in the shower, you want to see one person become legion, you’re looking for the future of protest songs, you were just telling your friend at the bar that you’re waiting for a new wave of indie grunge-opera.
For listeners of:Bjork, CocoRosie, Soko, classical symphonies, affirmation chants.