This playlist was originally published by The Stranger's sister publication The Portland Mercury. Follow the Mercury for daily coverage of Portland's art scenes and ongoing protests. —Eds. Note



Wynne, Alibi
Wynne, "Alibi"

There’s nothing fun, casual, or relaxing about reading the news anymore. Everything on the internet is either traumatic, concerning, or rage-inducing, with some cute animal videos from The Dodo sprinkled in. (Seriously, follow them on IG to reclaim some sanity in your day.) If you need a break from all the doom-scrolling, here’s your permission to take it. Refresh your brain for the next half hour by checking out these six new music releases from Portland artists, and support them by purchasing their music/merch if you can. Bandcamp has a great model, and some accounts even have a subscribe option. Listen up, feel better.

Things I Whispered In the Dark, Blossom feat. Charlie Brown III, Samuel Elsen-Meyers


Back in July, R&B singer-songwriter Blossom dropped Things I Whispered In the Dark, a three track EP of inner dialogue featuring the soundscapes of jazz pianist Charlie 3rown and producer Samuel Elsen-Meyers. Each song is precisely 3:33 minutes, a number that some believe symbolizes angels, a general wake-up call, and protection for those who see it repeatedly. From the “You Make Plans” intro, which sees Blossom singing about breaking plans as an ode to ghosting, to second track “Bend for You,” and the ethereal “Lay Your Head,” which is implied as a sort of prayer for Breonna Taylor, the EP is a sleepy depiction of being gentle with yourself while alone with your thoughts, and missing the comfort of human interaction. And this is only side A.
LISTEN TO IT HERE.

“Honey,” Moorea Masa & the Mood


Speaking of Blossom, the R&B songstress directed this sun-kissed new music video for “Honey” by Moorea Masa & the Mood, and the visual features Moorea Masa looking like a goddess in a natural aesthetic, even with dead bees on her face! Written and produced by Moorea Masa, Jess Best, Connor Shultze, and Steven Watkins, the single has a satisfyingly thick bassline and layers its rhythmic prowess with gorgeous harmonies in the “honey, honey” chorus. Put simply, this is the sweet type of stuff you self-care to.
LISTEN TO IT HERE.

“Alibi,” Wynne


Speaking of hunny... Last week, after reaching three million streams on her track “Ego Check” from If I May.., Portland rap queen Wynne rewarded her fans by dropping a demo for a song called “Alibi.” Available only on Soundcloud, the song sees the 22-year-old making references to watching Sister, Sister on Netflix, having trouble sleeping, and multiple instances of the “I can’t breathe” Black Lives Matter rallying cry that’s been taking on even more significance related to the West Coast wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. “Alibi” is subdued, sonically and lyrically dense, and very repeatable.
LISTEN TO IT HERE.

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“I Don’t Want You Anymore,” Vursatyl feat. Lunden Benard


As he’s been known to do, Vursatyl (Lifesavas) demonstrates his singing abilities in the chorus for this new single and music video for “I Don’t Want You Anymore,” also featuring a verse from his protegé Lunden Bernard. Produced by Jake One, the song sounds like it was made in precisely 2003. The video, of course, features lots of Portland imagery and iconic locations like The Majestic Ballroom, which is now temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
LISTEN TO IT HERE OR WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.

Common Slumm, “Don’t Go”


At the top of October, Portland-based hip-hop group Common Slumm dropped “Don’t Go,” their second visual and single from their new album Better Off Dead, which is available on streaming platforms. The trio does an excellent job of matching hip-hop’s popular Auto-tuned vocalization trend with gritty rock elements a la Wiz Khalifa. Common Slumm is new *to me,* but “Don’t Go” is instantly likeable due to its upbeat, electric guitar-forward production and catchy melody. The video features a lovely outdoor Oregon landscape backdrop, Portland’s House of Vintage, and antics from the song’s titular triflin’ heauxs.
LISTEN TO IT HERE OR WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.

Covi., The Sun Is Still Out


In late September, Covi. dropped a five-track EP called The Sun Is Still Out, which I’ve been listening to on Spotify. As the sun-blasted album artwork so effectively conveys (him lying presumably wasted in a kiddie pool on his porch), this project is lit. At times anxious and slightly lonely, the EP’s also loaded with optimistic, ultra-hydrated, club-worthy production—except you’re not going anywhere. It’s 2020, and with highlights like “Cash Cow” and “Outside,” this EP was designed for bopping along at home. “Thankful” becomes an appropriate closer, and features vocals from Cali soul artist Zyah Belle, and a verse from rapper Spike Chester.
LISTEN TO THE SINGLE HERE OR THE EP HERE.

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