[CLOUDY GUITAR POP] On its previous EPs, the spirit of Portland's Genders lived on the border of Oregon and California, its '90s-gazing guitar pop drifting from sunshine to shadow. For debut full-length Get Lost, the band formerly known as three-fourths of Youth has retreated further northward, and now exists between seasons—specifically, that precise moment when the chill of fall turns to the slog of winter. Announcing itself with a gust of distortion and clinking wind chimes on the stunning, expansive opener "Something to Get You By," the quartet sounds like it's deliberately conjuring the first storm of the year.
A sense of low-key melancholy pervades Get Lost even in its sprightlier moments: the needling faux Afro-pop of "Golden State" and the plucky "Sugarcoat" are grayed by the longing for a change of scenery. At least a quarter of the running time is dedicated to flurries of braided minor-key guitars that hit like wind-whipped drizzle. (No wonder recent tourmate Built to Spill has taken such a liking to them.) None of this is to say that Get Lost is a drag, though. In fact, the album's overcast vibe only serves to accentuate the warmth of Maggie Morris' voice. Cocooned within her and Stephen Leisy's expressive guitar interplay, it makes a walk in the rain seem awfully inviting.
SEE IT: Genders plays Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with the We Shared Milk and the Ghost Ease, on Sunday, Dec. 8. 9 pm. $5. 21 .