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Imaginative and melodic pop-rock from Portland!


Deepest Darkest, The Loved

Tue, May 28

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR

$12.00 - $14.00

This event is 21 and over

VanDordrecht’s latest pair of singles were written to reflect inward and outward journeys. They’re hook-laden but immersive compositions that brim with transporting narratives, bold ambient textures, and imaginative arrangements that take the listener well beyond the pop-rock verse, chorus, and bridge destinations.

“People often listen to music to escape into another world and connect. When writing these songs, I kept asking myself ‘What is the story I want to tell people?’ I wanted to take people on the journeys inherent in each song,” VanDordrecht shares.

The singles Back To Life and Shine On are the Portland-based musician’s latest offerings after the straight-ahead melodic pop-rock of his debut, Beast of Love. These tracks trade in the hard luck linear songcraft of VanDordrecht’s earlier releases for sleekly adventurous pop inspired by Daft Punk, and even Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift, and Lady Gaga. Previously, VanDordrecht was a member of the indie rock bands Sidestar and Castella, the latter of which has the distinction of being produced by iconic producer Joe Chiccarelli (The Shins, Counting Crows).

Like his last album, VanDordrecht’s latest singles were produced by Rian Lewis (Priory, Crosstide, Ravishers). This time around, however, VanDordrecht took Lewis by surprise by moving well beyond the Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen vibe of his last album. “I don’t think he was expecting that I had been listening to Frank Ocean and Daft Punk obsessively since we last worked together,” VanDordrecht says wryly.

Though these songs can be distilled down to piano and voice and still pack an emotional punch, they have more ambitious layers, arrangements, and their lyrical aspirations are more abstractly emotive. “The last record I released put a cap on relationship and heartbreak experiences in songs. For these singles, I felt that creating more space and time in the accompanying music, would allow more reflection on the lyrics. As a principal, we aimed for every new character, place, or thought stream introduced in the lyrics, to have a musical scene change,” VanDordrecht says.

Back To Life is both intimate and grand, boasting an intriguing organic and synthetic approach. If you can imagine it stripped bare, you could envision the song as a stately mid-tempo piano tune that could fit on an Elton John album. Yet, otherworldly textures like vocoder and synth-y ambience point more toward Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories album. The song is a travelogue, and each passage represents a portion of the journey. The first verse is elegantly spare and reflective of an intangible connection. This is followed by a R&B feel to mirror a trip to Barcelona where VanDordrecht met an enchanting woman. The veiled person of interest in VanDordrecht’s encounter appears on the track speaking in Spanish about their connection to further heighten the mystique of the pair’s bond.

These are milestone singles that are artistic successes on the back of previous commercial frustrations. “I remember after I worked with Joe Chiccarelli and things settled back to normal life, he said ‘You should absolutely keep writing. You write songs with a classic sound, and that’s rare,’” VanDordrecht recalls. “That moment was validating and has stuck with me. It has helped me to keep going.
Deepest Darkest
Deepest Darkest
A rock group with roots in classic and indie sounds, Portland’s Deepest Darkest spans decades and genres with influences from Led Zeppelin, Paul Simon, The Shins and Jellyfish. Formerly of The Carolines, songwriter and lead singer Nate Purscelley brings his melodic brand of pop guitar rock to the project with Derby front man and guitarist, Nat Johnson. Beautiful vocal harmonies, growling guitar riffs, and even some brassy trumpet parts can be heard during their energetic sets. A must see act.

-Francis Buford, The Spins
The Loved
The Loved
The Loved may be a new name to you, but its members should be no strangers to the ears of Portland, Ore. Led by songwriter and guitarist Lael Alderman, and featuring the rock solid rhythm section of Daven Hall (The Bella Fayes, Thrillbilly) & Jake Endicott (Oh Darling, Revival Drum Shop), this trio believes in the simple power of 3 chords and the truth. They believe every great song needs a great melody. They know music should move you.

The Loved are currently releasing singles for their upcoming full-length album due out later in 2016.