Finely Crafted Indie Pop

by | Aug 28, 2008

Last Saturday night we made the wise decision to attend the early show at Doug Fir Lounge. Portland band Blue Skies for Black Hearts played an acoustic set, followed by another acoustic set from Oakland’s Rogue Wave. I’ve been listening to Rogue Wave’s Out of the Shadow for some time, but I’d never heard Blue Skies before. Both bands appealed to me, particularly in the intimate confines of Doug Fir’s basement.

Recently, PerformerMag wrote a cover piece on Blue Skies and provided some insight into their new album, Serenades and Hand Grenades, released on Portland label King of Hearts Records.

(It’s) an album that’s thick with nods to the punchy beat of the British Invasion bands and the rootsy rock of Tom Petty, but doesn’t feel out of place next to likeminded indie pop bands like The New Pornographers. Though the album was recorded digitally in ProTools, Serenades has the warmth of an analog, direct to tape session — something the band pulled off by recording everything live, using a real plate reverb rather than touching up the tracks after the fact, and finally being able to afford the technology necessary to help get the sound they wanted to hear.

Speaking of sound, singer/guitarist Pat Kearns served a brief stint as a live sound engineer for bands like Spoon and Death Cab for Cutie, and has worked as a producer and engineer for bands from all over the Northwest, including The Soda Pop Kids, Exploding Hearts, and The Very Foundation.