Winter in Oregon doesn’t have to be spent freezing beneath a blanket. Instead, you can warm yourself with these fire tunes released from musicians right here in our state. We’ve got a wide variety of music, from tender acoustic tracks to driving punk jams and pop melodies. Get caught up on the local music scene with this playlist and read on for more details about the tracks.
We received by far the most submissions we've ever had when we made our request to Oregon Musicians back in early January. So, we want to thank everyone who sent us links to their new work. We unfortunately couldn’t get to all of them, because they just kept trickling in and we had to move to listening to all these tracks and researching them in order to produce this article. So, if you don’t see your music here, don’t get discouraged! We look forward to highlighting your work in an upcoming seasonal music roundup.
As usual, we've embedded a playlist of all the tracks we could find on Spotify for you to listen along to. But you can also check out plenty of these artists (and buy their music) directly from their Bandcamp pages. We've also got several music videos for you to explore right here in this article.
Be sure to SHARE this playlist with all the local music-lovers in your life to help us shine a light on all these talented artists who released new tunes for us this winter.
“One Drink At A Time” - Lace + Thorn
Released: Dec. 24, 2021
This country pop single is a duet between two talented vocalists who really know how to belt out their parts. Based in the rural Washington County town of North Plains, Lace + Thorn really bring a soulful power to their music. We’re excited to hear more as they work on releasing new tracks.
“Introducing Swordfishy” - Swordfishy
Album: The Swordfishy Collection, Vol. 1
Released: Dec. 27, 2021
Fans of 70’s funk music will really dig what’s going on in this inaugural track of this album, which features instrumental songs that all have a different kind of vintage sound. We can’t find out much more about Swordfishy, but be sure to show some love and check out this whole album, then follow them on Spotify.
“Focus” - Alex Toast
Album: Focus: Question: Resolve.
One man and an acoustic guitar – it doesn’t get much simpler than that, right? Well, Alex Toast puts that assumption to shame. Not only does he have a whole lot of percussive plucks added in with every strum of a chord, he has an entire album of interesting guitar flairs to check out, plus collaborations with other local artists thrown in for good measure.
“Got Quiet” - Helens
Released: Jan. 8, 2022
Portland-based Helens brings dreamy, ambient rock that really fills a room. This makes for a sound that seems to wash over you and build to power chords and crashing drum fills. It should be noted that we always write down our initial thoughts after listening to a track a couple times, then we go read more about the artist and the songs. Here’s how the band itself describes their sound: “Waves of guitar crash over melodic bass and pounding drums with haunting vocals echoing through the eye of the storm.” Always good to see that we got the essence they were going for!
“Fun” - 80HD
Released: Jan. 9, 2022
This lyrical rap song features some truly fun bars, which makes sense given the title of the track. It’s also a self-produced music video that doesn’t try to hide the fact that it’s recorded in parks and city sidewalks, with interested members of the public wandering past. This is the kind of local music that warms our hearts, so check out this project and show some love for Nigel Burch, the creative force behind 80HD.
“Viva! Cascadia!” - Red Cloud
Released: Jan. 11, 2022
Album: Viva! Cascadia!
Wow, now HERE is a groovy rock song. There’s a heavy, sludgey grunge rock feel, but the group also plays around with all kinds of different heavy metal eras. You can feel the early metal influences soaked into that bass line and guitar hook.
“I Hope You Think Of Me” - CJ Mickens
Released: Jan. 13, 2022
This album is full of all kinds of different genres of music. This one is a dancey, funky guitar tune that you can definitely say is adding a dash of summer to winter in Oregon. As the album progresses, you immediately see how much experimentation Mickens is utilizing, tapping into R&B, disco and trippy sci-fi sounds. You definitely want to add this one to your rotation of local music listening.
“More Love” - Tuesday’s Project
Album: More Love
Released: Jan. 14, 2022
This Portland-based rock band comes right out the gate of its new album with a track about “finding a way out of this madness we created” by showing a little more love. If that’s not an uplifting message in dark times, we don’t know what is.
“The Perfect Cocktail” - Tigers On Opium
Released: Jan. 15, 2022
This is a fun but dark punk rock song from the Eugene-based Tigers On Opium. It’s got that kind of bashing battery with the drums that really makes you want to mosh, and the drug-centric lyrics and chugging guitar certainly add to the gritty vibes of this track. There’s also an excellent guitar solo to lead off the song’s last leg. There’s even an acoustic version, though you can’t NOT get pumped up after hearing the original.
“To The King” - L and T
Released: Jan. 17, 2022
We make a point to highlight Black artists more, whether it’s during Black History Month or not. It’s an added bonus to do it in the month of February, and especially a bonus that it’s to talk about a track that hails the King himself. No, not Elvis. Click the track to see album art that sums it up beautifully. There’s something uniquely satisfying about reggae music during the cold months of the year, it warms you right up. And the quotes from MLK Jr. certainly add some gravity to this track. Stick around for the electric organ fills that light up your day.
“Luna” - Atlas Bishop
Album: Letters To The Moon
Released: Jan. 22, 2022
This whole album is full of tender acoustic songs and vocal melodies. We picked “Luna” to highlight out of the tracks on this record because it’s got some truly impressive vocal vibratos and peaks that really hit home on the love and loss being written about here. We wish we could find more out about Atlas Bishop online, because some local artists can get buried under other search results. It’s honestly why we do what we do at Curbside Press, because online resources tend to prioritize the pages that people are already clicking on and leave little local musicians out in the cold. But at the very least, we can encourage people to give the artist more Spotify listens.
“Breath is the Breeze” - Danny Shaw
Released: Jan. 22, 2022
In collaboration with Matador and Chikachar, fellow local musicians and producers, this song features a sort of ska-like rapping. We were reminded of groups like Sublime, especially because of the warm California guitar strums. There’s a pretty excellent second verse that features some plosive alliteration that is worth the listen, so check out this Eugene-based project.
“Move On” - JustJoey
Released: February 1, 2022
Albm: Wisconsin Story
This cleanly produced, scatter-beat rap track features some warbled sounds that make it feel psychedelic yet tender. Produced and mixed by Eugene-based Joey Iaquinto, he said that this “the best piece of music” he’s ever put together. You can check out this track, and the full album, on his Bandcamp page.
“Your Ghost” - Rooftop Screamers
Released: Feb. 4, 2022
We first learned about Rooftop Screamers during our Fall Release Roundup and we’re pleased to see the project return with even more music this winter. The band is the project of drummer Mike Collins and this is the latest track to feature vocalist Kim Wayman. What starts as a slow, somber melody turns into a more uplifting, symphonic pop track. Also, what a cool music video production!
“The Gray” - Secret Satellites
Released: Feb. 18, 2022
This new single from Secret Satellites starts as an ambient, quiet tune but quickly reveals a faster emo punk verse and crashing chorus that shows you the "scene" phase never died. This Portland-based punk project has another track worth checking out called “Life Less Ordinary,” which you can also catch on the group’s Spotify page.