Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Emerging Northwest Bands: Point Juncture, WA

The title of the series (i.e. Emerging Seattle Bands) had to be modified for this edition, because Point Juncture, WA is a collaboration of four Portland, Oregon musicians -- Amanda Spring (vocals, drums) Victor Nash (keyboards, vocals) Skyler Norwood (guitar, vibraphone) and Wilson Vediner (guitar). In the past six years they have released three albums. Juxtapony (2004) and Mama Auto Boss (2005) were solid Pacific Northwest indie pop. In 2009, they released Heart to Elk, in which they displayed a broader array of influences and a broader palate of musical expression.

In May, Point Juncture, WA released their latest full length, Handsome Orders on Mt. Fuji Records. The album was recorded in the band's home studio. However, don't assume that home recording means low quality. The songs are both lush and energetic. The guitars are reverbed and fuzzed, while the vocals have a boy/girl delivery.

"Violin Case" is the first video released with respect to the album:

Overall, I think that Handsome Orders is the sound of a band growing up. That isn't to suggest that their prior work was juvenile or disposable. What is means is that the variety of music on this album, coupled with the quality of the musicianship, makes this album a remarkable effort. Some tunes are orchestral or dream pop. The closer, Boston Gold, is a fuzzed guitar power pop tune. However, the variety doesn't result in chaos or disconnect. The band lives together, cooks together, and has toured extensively together. It is a tight unit and the listener can sense their ability to feed off of each other.

"The Economics of Basketball" is a lovely song:


The album possesses a full sound. Bass, guitar, keyboards, horns, drums, and even dissonance is all part of the texture to support and accent the melody. The album isn't like many other indie pop albums you will try this year, but I suspect you'll agree that it is a delightful discovery.

Here is a live version of "New Drags", the fifth track on the album:


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