About five years ago, Anne Adams (the singer that performs under the name Grey Anne) and Paul Alcott (current member of Menomena, Ramona Falls, and Dat'r)—a couple at the time—joined musical forces to record an album of homespun electronic pop under the name Mockingbirds. But as their romantic relationship came to an end, so too did this project. Tracks from those sessions ended up on a PDX Pop Now compilation and one was used in a Nike ad, but otherwise it sat on a digital shelf collecting e-dust.
That is until the Ides of March when Adams and Alcott agreed to finally let these tracks see the light of day via everyone's favorite digital music distributor Bandcamp. The project may have a new name, Sweater!, but everything else is still the same. Machine or handmade beats and bits of digital fur tumble along while Adams coos romantic yearnings in her misty soprano.
In the long run, I think it's better that these tracks sat dormant for as long as they did. Around 2005 when they made it, it seemed like many pop artists in Portland was embracing the possibilities of electronic music in some fashion. What became Hesperus Rex might have been dismissed out of hand. Things have shifted as the central sound of the city has gone back to a rootsier, throwback feel. But the groove is coming back to life thanks to outfits like Radiation City, Wild Ones, and Ancient Heat. Sweater! slots in perfectly with this new homespun electro pop wave. Add "Laundry Room" or any of the tracks from Hesperus to a playlist that includes those aforementioned acts and you'll see what I mean. And who knows...maybe if enough people start downloading and bumping these tracks, maybe we can convince Alcott and Adams to make more just like it.