Brainstorm, Social Studies, Hands In
3939 N Mississippi Ave.
[EXPERIMENTAL POP] Favoring what they call “African highlife and soulful AM radio nostalgia,” Brainstorm's West African-style guitar lines and thundering rhythms drew attention for its similarity to Vampire Weekend when the Portland group released its second full-length album, Heat Waves, in 2012. But founding members Adam Baz and Patrick Phillips took that similarity and ran with it, speckling deep bursts of tuba and hazy, circular dual harmonies amidst the undeniably catchy guitar riffs. Brainstorm's two-track EP She Moves, released last year, finds the group following a similar formula, then taking it up another notch. Maybe it’s the addition of bassist and vocalist Tamara Barnes, who adds a bright airiness to the three-part harmonies, or perhaps it’s the way the atmospheric guitar and subtle synths mix so easily together with the groovy, grounding bass lines. Either way, despite its aforementioned familiarity, Brainstorm manages to hold attention all on its own.
Where: Mississippi Studios
Address: 3939 N Mississippi Ave.