The Very Reverend – “Leash”
This newly formed Portland-based rock band rose out of the ashes of One Shot Nothing, the formerly Ellsworth-based band comprised of brothers-in-music Justin Chamberlain and Brendon Bouchard, has been making a bit of noise playing shows around Maine these past few months. Now, they’ve got a new single and music video to go with it. Marking a shift for Chamberlain and Bouchard, two precocious young rockers, debut single “Leash” veers away from the more modern rock styling of their previous band into a slinkier, dirtier sonic landscape that’s a lot more Queens of the Stone Age, a lot less Foo Fighters. With a cool-as-hell music video directed Jay Brown, “Leash” marks The Very Reverend as a band to watch.
Ghosts of Johnson City – “The Devil’s Gold”
For being such a large band with such a studied, careful approach to traditional music, the Ghosts of Johnson City are surprisingly prolific — two full-length albums in less than 18 months is quite a feat. “The Devil’s Gold,” which came out last month, is just as dark, moody and atmospheric as their first album, and lovers of folk music can certainly find something to love on it. There are plenty of highlights throughout the album’s 15 tracks, but the title track is a rousing bluegrass anthem, and the mesmerizing “A Drowning at the Stillwater” tells a tale of a tragic death sometime in the mythical past in Orono. Just give it all a listen and be transported.
Foam Castles – “Inside After the Gold Rush”
“Bird Death,” the new album from Foam Castles, the Portland-based band of pop-soaked indie rockers, is out next week, and lead single “Inside After the Gold Rush,” like all of the band’s previous releases, is irresistibly charming and melodic. Though it’s encased in rock-solid psych-pop walls, the inside is just a bit demented — think R.E.M. meets Neutral Milk Hotel. Foam Castles is of the hidden gems of Portland’s indie rock scene.
Tall Horse — “Nothing. No One.”
After a pretty long hiatus (two and a half years!), Tall Horse, the Portland-based trio, is back with some new songs and a new single that’ll precede an upcoming full length album. “Nothing. No One.” sounds beautiful — reverb soaked, haunting, anchored by Dominic Grosso’s sensitive, expressive bass playing and Devin Ivy’s typically excellent drumming, and lifted up by Nick Poulin’s wounded yelp. The addition of horns in the last third of the song is a welcome new direction for the band — the new LP will certainly be one of my most anticipated Maine albums of 2017.