Album Review: New Move

"Don't Wanna Lose" (Self-Released)

[CLASSIC POP] When it comes to songwriting, Jesse Bettis is an unabashed classicist. That was true of Oh Captain My Captain, his former band, whose widescreen pop drew upon Bowie, Queen and Radiohead, and it's even more pronounced with his current project, New Move. A standout track on this year's PDX Pop Now compilation, "Don't Wanna Lose" is the brightest of the three singles the group—which contains several other members of OCMC—has rolled out since the spring, built around a sweet melody, sprightly keys, a springy rhythm, background horn blurts and Bettis' soulful falsetto. It's the stuff of the Beach Boys and Nick Lowe, while an alternate version included on the single reimagines the song as a delightful Jackson 5 homage, complete with strings, funky clavinet and a rather spot-on young MJ impersonator on vocals. B-side "No One But Her," meanwhile, motors into Cars territory, with New Wave guitars, handclaps and a doo-wop-like outro. If the reference points sound ambitious, Bettis has already proven his ability to aspire to such heights without ever seeming like he's overreaching.

SEE IT: New Move plays Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., with Rio Grands and No La La, on Sunday, Nov. 30. 8:30 pm. $6. 21+.