Derby has spent the past four years in virtual training, preparing and patiently waiting their turn to fight for the prize and win the girl. However some have wondered if Derby is ever going to really reach their moment of truth. Well, dear Derbsters, your time has come!
By the time their new record, Posters Fade, hits iPods and record stores this summer, you’d better take cover and try to catch one last glimpse of the Derby rocket as it blasts off.
Posters Fade is chock full of shiny indie-pop gems glowing with catchy metaphor hooks like, “Don’t feed the bear/ she’ll mess you up” and more pulsing, harmonic ‘da da daas’ and ‘whoa oh ohhs’ than you’ll know what to do with. Derby comes out swingin’ on their sophomore release, mastering a fine balance between carefully arranged melodic pop bliss and fun, danceable, hip shaking surf rock.
On standout track, “If Ever There’s a Reason,” songwriter (Derby) Dave Gullick confidently puts his Ph D in Beatles-meets-Beach Boys pop to work, fine tuning smooth harmonies layered over foot stomps, hand claps and a light acoustic guitar while frontman Nat Johnson lends a Paul Simon-ish delivery on a sweet track that would fit perfectly on the Juno soundtrack.
Posters Fade champions Derby’s signature sound of sweeping soft melodies and upbeat hooks, draped over bouncy keys, punchy guitars and a healthy dose of 50’s-era drum beats. Good luck keeping this record off of your year-end lists. This one is a K.O.
Loch Lomond is a Scottish lake, located in both the western lowlands of Central Scotland and the Southern Highlands. In Portland, Oregon, Loch Lomond is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Ritchie Young. Comprised of an eight-piece band and widely thought to be a bit of an indie-folk all-star troupe, Loch Lomond at times includes members of fellow PDX bands Norfolk and Western, Horse Feathers and Dolorean.
Compared to the likes of indie folk master Sufjan Stevens and coloring similar soundscapes to that of Iron and Wine, Loch Lomond’s core strength lies in the talent of its players, while Young’s subtle and simplified delivery compliments them just fine.
On last year’s Paper the Walls, “Scabs on This Year” stood out as a beautifully composed ballad. An instrumental intro leads into four-part harmonies intricately arranged in rounds over the top of a baroque folk symphony, climaxing with a gentle cello solo that paints a soothing pastoral landscape of a Jane Austen novel. Ritchie and his friends have certainly nailed something original with Paper the Walls and word on the street is their live shows are not to be missed.
The Hugs is a fitting name for this ambitious group of starry-eyed, still-wet-behind-the-ears Portland teenagers.
Only months removed from their high school graduation, the Hugs apparently caught the attention of prominent British rock photographer Roger Sargent in 2006, after band frontman, err frontkid Danny Delegato pursued him on Myspace. Delgato’s persistence paid off and the band will spend this spring recording in London, under the supervision of their label, UK-based 1965 Records.
The Hugs produce a young yet confident British invasion sound reminiscent of the Kinks, the Stones and contemporaries Arctic Monkeys and the Libertines. Virtually leap-frogging Portland’s indie rock rat race, these kids are rumored to be talking with state-side major label Sony/Columbia. Not bad, huh?