Portland needs more artists like Michele Wylen. She's not an earnest folky or a quirk-riddled indie rocker. Welcome to Human Nature, her debut full-length—which she celebrates the release of this Saturday at Someday Lounge—is an unapologetic, honest-to-goodness, radio-ready pop album. Which isn't to say it falls in the homogenized world of Gaga, Ke$ha, Bieber et al. Quite the contrary. While the record throbs with a glittery, strobe-light pulse, Wylen puts her own, individualistic stamp over every club-filling beat and breathy melody.
Take blissed-out love jam "Champagne Clouds," for instance. Produced by Wylen herself, she wraps her airy, crystalline vocals around electro-fizzy synths and ethereal swirls of strings and woodwinds. It sounds positively futuristic—maybe even a little psychedelic—while also entirely familiar to anyone who listened to mainstream R&B in the '90s. That's a mix few performers in the flannel-clad northwest ever dare to hit.
SEE IT: Michele Wylen plays Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave., with Thee Mike B and DJ BLVD Nights, on Saturday, Dec. 15. 9 pm. $10. 21kknd.