9/10. Shadowgraphs (26 points)
SOUNDS LIKE: Radiohead decided to record a Zombie covers album.
NOTABLE VOTES: Friends of Noise executive director Andre Middleton, OPB Music director Jerad Walker.
There are plenty of rock groups who revere '60s psychedelic pop and sound like mere copycats of the Kinks or the Zombies. But the good ones, like Shadowgraphs, can imbue their music with something of their own. Led by songwriters Bryan Olson and Wils Glade, Shadowgraphs craft a skillful amalgamation of old and new.
"Outside of music, the both of us do art design, and try to follow the same principles, like finding little gems from the past and giving them a new spin," says Olsen, who plays synth and guitar in the band. "Riffing off a vibe from some of the older classics and then trying to reappropriate them into a new, more futuristic way is always interesting."
The partnership between Olson and Glade began five years ago in North Carolina as two like-minded individuals discussing art, music and recording techniques. Soon, at the behest of people who wanted to hear what they’d been working on, the project blossomed into a full fledged band. Eventually, Shadowgraphs got the attention of Portland’s Golden Brown Records. When the band visited the City of Roses on tour, they fell in love.
"Pretty immediately we knew this was a place we wanted to be," Glade says.
Late last year, Shadowgraphs released Another Time, the band's second album and their first after relocating to Portland. Using the golden age of psychedelic rock as a liftoff point, Another Time is full of earworms that veer off in unexpected directions. Flourishes like the spacey jazz of "Before the Time," the warm jangle of "Silent Spring" and the Radiohead-indebted "Neighbors" elevate the band's music beyond an imitation of older sounds.
Shadowgraphs are just getting started. Soon, the band plans to build a home studio in NoPo where they can tinker with their sound for hours on end. "Whether it's something really rare and old or a wild new electronic track, we're totally open to it," Glade says. "Hopefully, our music reflects that."
NEXT SHOW: July 5 at Doug Fir Lounge.