Fall 2021 Music Releases

Updated: Feb 26


As the days get shorter and winter draws nearer, this collection of hot new music released this fall by Oregon artists will help keep the chill away. There are some familiar artists on the list, but we have quite a few new bands we haven’t covered before for you to discover along with us. New music from Wynne, Justice Gbada, Plastic Cactus, Age of Majority and so much more! Please note, this playlist has explicit music in it.


Help us shine a light on great local bands by sharing this list with all the music lovers in your life. We never charge to feature an artist, and these are our authentic reviews of each song on the list. If you think we’re missing out on other great local music, let us know in the comments below or pass our info along to the talented musicians you know.


If you really want to support our local arts journalism, consider buying a Premium Subscription. We're not a marketing firm, we do this to spread the word about great art made here in Oregon. That means we don’t charge artists for all this promotion (and we never will), so we need our readers to help however they can. Be sure to check back for new local arts content every week.


 


 

RELEASES



“Naito” - Justice Gbada

Released: Nov. 12, 2021


This is such a great song to start this list off with. Portland-based rapper Justice Gbada is a skilled artist and we are always so excited when we see he has released new music. “Naito '' starts off with a voice track of the late Bernie Mac from the movie “Head of State,” where Mac and the interviewer go back and forth over a mix-up about NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and some guy named Nato Jenkins. It is funny but also leads well into the track as Gbada’s voice plays over as the transition into the beat. The flow of this song is remarkable, and his pacing is second-to-none in the Portland Scene. Watching his work progress has been quite exciting. He has released a lot of music this year: a May album called Romantic Thug, a collaboration with Christine Nguyen on “MOTHERLAND” in June, a 3-track EP called 444 EP in September (which could have a whole separate writeup for how good it is), a remaster of his 2019 album Waterbwoy, and now “Naito”. This stream of excellent hip-hop is one we hope doesn’t stop!


 

"Shimanchu" - Floating Room

Album: Shima

Released: Nov. 12, 2021

Notable Mention: “Firetruck”


This is such a fun video from Floating Room. “Shimanchu” is off of Shima, the newest album from Portland-based singer-songwriter Maya Stoner. Fun fact, the album had help from another band on this playlist, Mo Troper. A summary of the album and the band on her Bandcamp explains, “Led by multidisciplinary Uchinanchu American artist and DIY veteran Maya Stoner, Floating Room has featured a revolving cast of musicians since its inception ... Shima arrives on the heels of last year’s Tired and True EP, which saw Stoner experiment with symphonic instrumentation and lush, soft-rock textures. Shima, by contrast, is a rollicking punk record that whips by at warp speed, highlighting Stoner’s emo and riot grrrl roots; it’s Tired and True’s photo negative.” The music video for “Shimanchu” is quite an experience, looking like a Dance Dance Revolution game with Stoner superimposed on top. It is really fun.



 

“CARROT CAKE” - Wynne Feat. Christo

Album: DO MY OWN STUNTS

Released: Nov. 11, 2021

Notable Mention: “DEMON”


We simply can’t get enough of Wynne. The Portland-based rapper keeps busting out such high-quality material, and this six-track EP is proof of how talented she is. “CARROT CAKE” is fire, and when we say that, we mean she literally set herself on fire for the music video. In the description of the video it says, “There were no special effects used in the making of this video” which means she truly is on fire during this remarkable display. The video for this song was released back on October 13, just a little under a month before the new album dropped. It truly is an impressive rap song off an equally impressive album. The video just makes it that much better.




 

“Charmander” - Aminé

Album: TWOPOINTFIVE

Released: Nov. 5, 2021

Notable Mention: “NEO”


“Charmander” is another hit from Aminé, coming hot off the press from his new album TWOPOINTFIVE. Though technically based in Los Angeles now, Amine’s Portland roots have earned him a spot on any Oregon music list. “Charmander” has a unique, fast-paced running beat that is punchy but less bassy than a lot of his other music. Plus that hi-hat is *chef’s kiss*. Really, the use of the hi-hat on the whole album is great. Then add on Aminé’s playful style and it all comes together for a song that is great for putting on repeat and just chilling. The music video is truly a blast to watch. It is visually stimulating, and the random break in the middle for the neighbor’s complaint about his dog is quite funny.




 

“All The Things” - Ender Raine

Album: Ender Raine Tears It Up

Released: Nov. 2, 2021

Notable Mentions: “Darling”


This was the first time we had gotten a chance to check out any of the Portland piano rock group Ender Raine’s music. The band released their second album Ender Raine Tears It Up on November 2, and it has some impressive piano tracks. “All the Things” is one of the heavier songs on the album. Though still piano-driven, the song is a bit more punchy and has more grunge to it. The piano is playful, the lyrics are interesting, and it creates a story of insecurities and reassurances. The lyric video, which came out about a month ago, is admittedly a little out there. But, it is an added visual that’s entertaining and cut well to fit the drum clips with those in the song.


If you enjoy this song you should really check out the track “Darling”.




 

“Psycho-Delic” - Age of Majority

Released: Oct. 31, 2021


Portland-based “psychedelic groove-driven Rock and Roll” band Age of Majority (They capitalize the name as AGE of MAJORITY) released a new single, “Psycho-Delic,” on Halloween. The group describes their sound as “having an ear to the past but eyes on the future”, and we think this sums up “Psycho-Delic”. The song has elements that feel like very traditional, 90’s rock, but with a hint of grunge and a unique flair that makes the song a head-bopper. Also, the chorus is truly a good time. You can tell the band really enjoys playing and it shines through the whole track.



 

“Ghost of Tom” - Plastic Cactus

Released: Oct. 25, 2021


This is a perfect example of the exciting things Oregon artists can accomplish. Portland-based band Plastic Cactus released the hauntingly good “Ghost of Tom - Live at Holocene” track on October 25 on Spotify. The song itself is a bit older, and the recording that was recently released does differ from the video attached below. But both are so good. The first second of the piano riff had us hooked. There is an eerie softness that plays throughout the song, with a drama built into the composition that ebbs and flows to leave you asking yourself, “have you seen the ghost of Tom?” This is one of our favorites from Plastic Cactus to date, and that is saying something. Even though there are slight differences between the recorded version and the video, we just had to add it because their stage presence is a must-see. They are dressed as mummies! Plus, you actually get to listen to a few of their songs so you can get a better feel for the band.




 

“Imperfect Parts” - Vonnie Kyle

Released: Oct. 23, 2021


This is a very well-directed and well-composed video. Vonnie Kyle, a Portland-based pop-rock musician released a video for the song “Imperfect Parts” on October 23. The music video is the result of great work by Vonnie Kyle and Joshua Rivera from Rockstars Records. Rivera recorded, directed, and edited the piece according to the bio, and Kyle was the producer. The result is a poppy, playful video which is as interesting as it is fun to watch.




 

“My Canary Was Sure to Run” - Mo Troper

Album: Dilettante

Released: Oct. 15

Notable Mention: “Skyscraper Sized Bong”


This is some classic Oregon indie alternative here and we love it! Mo Troper, who we featured in our Winter 2021 Music Release, claimed back then with his song “The Perfect Song” (which is also on the new album) that he had “written the perfect song” but now we are thinking it might have some competition. The band’s recently released album Dilettante, also known as Mo Troper IV, is filled to the brim with solid indie tracks -- 28 songs, to be exact. Mo Troper says, “[It] combines decades of power-pop worship, scholarship, and penmanship into a 28-track collection of sprints. The playlist-as-album pundits might call it a data dump, but Mo brands it as a relaxed way to finish song sketches in unprecedented times.” Even though there are a lot of great songs on Dilettante, “My Canary Was Sure to Run” is one of the best. The distorted, filtered sound of Mo’s vocals over the catchy acoustic guitar creates a raw but effectively punchy song. The guitar fills add a dynamic that lends a softness to his fuzzy vocal track that balances the whole thing. It has a gritty simplicity that is captivating. It’s just a really good song and we think you need to go listen to it. Like, now.


Fun fact #2: Oxford Dictionary defines Dilettante as “a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.”


 

“STYLE” - 3am

Released: Oct. 3, 2021


Portland singer/songwriter Anthony Russell, aka 3am, has been making a splash in the Pacific Northwest hip hop and R&B scene since his 2017 hit single “Tsunami.” Recorded by FrontLine Records, 3am’s new single “STYLE” is a succinct, beat-heavy track that has us moving. It has solid bars from start to beginning, and the breakdown at the end of the song is so good. Maybe we are just in a mood but that hi-hat is really killing it.