2018-01-15 21:21:21 UTC
Riding on soulful vocals and picked up in the second half by woodwind flourishes, “Texas” is about loneliness and redemption, the soundtrack to a pause for some much needed reflection. The Portland, OR-based act Maxwell Cabana was born in a hazy ‘02 Corolla, in the parking lot of a fried chicken joint up in Seattle. It was there that his journey began, and with a basket of chicken and a mix CD of classic Soul tunes, he got to work. Nowadays, his psychedelic R&B quartet includes Seattle native Murray McCulloch on guitar and vocals, Portland's own Noah Puggarana on keys, and Chicago-born brothers Sean and Jamie Higgins on bass and drums, respectively.
Years in the making, Maxwell’s band began to take shape in early 2016, when Murray McCulloch approached Sean and Jamie Higgins with the concept for the project. The three had played together before in the funky hip-hop outfit Sack Lunch, along with frequent collaborator HB, so they knew the chemistry was already there. Soon afterwards, the three began writing and rehearsing their first material in a damp North Portland basement.
After releasing their first project, a self-titled EP recorded at Cloud City Sound Studios in Portland, the band met keyboardist Noah Puggarana, whose soulful melodies and heady harmonies seemed to effortlessly fill in spaces that the music didn’t even know it had. Since then, Maxwell Cabana and his band have been playing shows around the Portland area, studying, jamming, and refining their sound.
In the summer of 2017, the group linked with producer Joey Cox to record Nothing Changed, their forthcoming release. The EP combines the group's love for old-school R&B and Soul with an affinity for Jazz, Hip-Hop and psychedelia. Maxwell Cabana’s influences range from Tim Maia to Madlib, Donny Hathaway to Gorillaz, and beyond.
Orellana is a neo-classical/post-rock collective hailing from Bristol, UK. Their new album “52”, released in late December, brought in the new year with it’s explosive and intricate sound. The project’s music transcends genre definitions in order to focus on a broad, diverse concept that is more emotional than tangible. This particular release is full of rich and diverse arrangements, but it is also a powerful exercise in minimalism, one that showcases the strength of very few notes placed in the right spots. The simplicity of the arrangement is actually one of the strongest aspects of this entire release: there’s a palpable stillness created by the long, drone notes in the background, which almost makes you feel like the world is happening in slow motion. When the chords and notes change, it feels quite monumental due to the beautiful contrast between the stillness of the background textures and the expressive sound of the guitar-based melodies.
Davenport Rex is a music project based in Detroit, Michigan. Their sound is diverse and challenging, yet accessible and appealing. The band’s music stands out as a combination of tasteful progressive rock, with shades of various influences, ranging from alternative to symphonic hard rock, just to mention a few.