You want a quick litmus test to see how long someone has lived in Portland: ask them how they feel about a new Rebecca Gates album finally coming out. If they furrow their brows trying to place the name, you know that they're recent imports from some other far flung place. If their eyes light up and an excited grin comes across their face, they've been here for a stretch. 

Because for us folks that have been here for a good decade or more, the news of The Float, a brand new disc of original material from Ms. Gates and her band the Consortium, has been something we've been buzzing about for days now. We've loved Gates since her days fronting The Spinanes and felt jilted when she decided to split for the East Coast and Midwest for a stretch. 

Granted, it's not as if Gates has been in hiding. She's be playing regularly around town, and was asked up to perform at the Sasquatch Fest last summer. And she's got shows lined up here soon (tomorrow night at Bunk Bar; Wednesday at Revival Drum Shop). But this is our chance to revel in her arch take on pop music over and over and over again, from the comforts of our own iPods, turntables, or laptops.

While the familiar sound of Gates' distinctive voice and loose lyrical imagery are there, the rest of the track feels quite different than what we've heard from her in the past. With drummer Ji Tanzer bopping along behind her, the song is as capricious and sensual as anything Gates has done in the past. Credit all the musicians in the Consortium for never pushing the song too far forward as well. Everyone lays back in a steady comfort zone and lets the song unfold with a natural grace. If it comes to light that they knocked this out in one jam session-style take, I wouldn't be surprised in the least.