That image to the left is the cover of Portland duo AU's new album. It's been a while since we've had one of those. Verbs, the band's last record, came out in 2008 and solidified Luke Wyland and Dana Valatka as one of the most thrillingly inventive, impossible-to-classify twosomes not just in town, but in all of pop music.
If the first single off third album Both Lights, which drops domestically April 3 on Hometapes, is any indication, nothing has changed. I could waste a lot of words attempting to classify the song -- featuring indie rock's saxophonist du jour Colin Stetson -- but a better idea would be to take a listen and come up with your own hyphenated genre tag (for what it's worth, mine would be "avant-Afro-prog-pop-carnivale"). The B-side to the seven-inch also offers a glimpse at "Epic," album's opening track, via a reworking by Wyland and also featuring Stetson's experimental brass textures.
And, finally, here are AU's upcoming tour dates, which include gigs with Deerhoof and the Dodos along with a stint at South By Southwest. Also note the March 3rd show at Doug Fir, featuring Tu Fawning and Parenthetical Girls. That's quite an evening of dramatic, genre-defying Portland music.
02/25 - Sacramento, CA @ Bows and Arrows - w/ Appetite
03/24 - Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Fest