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Starover Blue

Do503 Presents: Album release show for Portland based experimental dream pop band!

Starover Blue

The Fourth Wall, Small Million

Thu, September 5

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

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

Starover Blue
Starover Blue
The nostalgic tones of a Juno 106 combine with ambient layers, sparkling guitars, and airy, bittersweet vocals to define Portland experimental dream pop band Starover Blue.

Founding members Kendall Sallay and Dirk Milotz began their musical partnership in 2007 in the San Jose State University music department. Live, the four-piece pulls from a multi-faceted discography, appealing to fans of acts such as Wye Oak, Cocteau Twins, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, The Joy Formidable, Low Roar, and The Antlers.

Summer 2019 will mark the release of their second LP Ordinary Magic.
The Fourth Wall
The Fourth Wall
The Fourth Wall is loud. Frontman Stephen Agustin is, by contrast, reserved and soft spoken in person. He recently finished a degree in Philosophy. He smiles a lot when he’s nervous. He takes writing music incredibly seriously, but he can be hesitant to get into the weeds of talking about his band’s intricate, generous songs. “It’s hard to be articulate about that sort of thing,” he says.

Agustin first started writing music as a teenager in Hawaii, while he was trying to square his newfound love of philosophy with his Christian upbringing. His songs helped him work through the confusion. In 2006, Agustin started a band called Our Distance, which would catch breaks opening for The Kooks and Of Montreal. But Agustin had other ambitions. “I wanted to try and make a record on my own,” he remembers, “Just to see what would come of it.” He spent eighteen months writing and teaching himself to record music, and—encouraged by friends’ responses—formed a new live band for the project he’d dubbed The Fourth Wall. Their first album, Motion and Rest—an intense and searching effort with crisp production and hooks for days—was well-received in the band’s native Hawaii and helped them land opening spots with The Shins, Menomena and Andrew Bird.

In 2012 the band relocated to Portland, Oregon (“an easygoing city; not too crazy or frenetic”), making fast friends with bands like Typhoon and 1939 Ensemble. The band would spend the next three years writing and self-recording their sophomore LP, Lovely Violence, which they released in 2015 on Portland’s Bug Hunt records. The Portland Mercury called the album “something of a wonder: an engrossing, fully realized and vitalized record with no easy musical touchstone.”

New LP Infinite Other is something of a wonder—from the dire, almost Queen-like riffage of “Afterimage” to the soaring and vertigo-inducing structures of “I Saw My Longing” (which recalls irreplicable recordings like The Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream and Sunny Day Real Estate’s How It Feels To Be Something On), the record harbors deep sonic rewards. Drummer Andrew White’s rhythms are instinctual and huge. Bassist Chris Lau is soulful and calm even in the record’s most explosive moments. Agustin and Kasey Shun complement each other's chaos with order.

And then the lyrics start to surface. On one level it’s a personal record, the product of Agustin’s breakup with a long-term partner and all the self-questioning that comes along with separation. “It’s an album about otherness,” he says. “I was reading a lot of Foucault and Hegel in school, and thinking about how much of my identity was this reflection of myself through another person.” As he sings about the otherness he experiences in his life—through a breakup, a move from a diverse place to the whitest city in America, a conflicted relationship with technology and social media—there’s a strange synchronicity afoot with the reckonings and the breakdowns happening in the larger society. This record feels like a document of a chaotic and soul-searching time in human history.

The Fourth Wall is loud. But, their explosiveness is just another tool of discovery—it’s a sonic translation of the urgency in Agustin’s writing. This is a brilliant record of ambitious songs from an honest band that is circling ever closer to its own esoteric truth. That, in the era of omnipresent pop royalty, is something of a revelation.
-Casey Jarman
Small Million
Small Million
Portland duo Small Million (Ryan Linder & Malachi Graham) met on the dance floor and got busy writing alt pop songs with impassioned lyrics and dark melodic hooks. Blending Malachi's roots in Americana with Ryan's eclectically influenced electronic layering, they’ve gained attention for their richly textured, emotional tracks, powerhouse vocals, and captivating live performances. Small Million has been featured on compilations by Tender Loving Empire, PDX Pop Now!, and Vortex Music Magazine, as well as Spotify's featured Mellow Morning playlist. They released their debut EP, Before the Fall, in 2016 and their follow-up, Young Fools, in October 2018.

“Innovative and darkly captivating, capable of pulling audiences in with pop-accessible hooks only to keep them around for the scintillating stories and sounds that come with them.” –PopMatters

"Between the powerhouse vocals that yield fierce, Lucius-level harmonies and the tight instrumentation, Small Million give you plenty to gush over. We’re talking instant, hard-core music crush right here. This pair’s chemistry rivals the likes of fellow Portland bands (Joseph, Sisters) while their energy should appeal to Matt & Kim fans. Their prismatic appeal... puts them high on our Artists to Watch list.” —The Revue