At the Doug Fir Lounge:
Ark Life, Alameda
830 E. Burnside St.
Portland, OR, 97214
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
Like the untamed terrain that they derive their name from, the young Portland band called Great Wilderness has taken to the mindset that constant change is key to their well-being. Within the last year, the group has hollowed out a bold and resounding female-led indie rock sound that has stemmed from their more acoustic folk music roots that they began receiving attention for in their first days.
Led by songwriters Jamie McMullen (vocals, electric guitar) and Emily Overstreet (vocals, keys, guitar), Great Wilderness easily connects with fans of Fleetwood Mac, Mazzy Star, and Heart. The ladies’ harmonies are backed by tasteful arrangements on electric guitar by Jon Balsley, Joshua Kennedy on drums, and Corey Dieckman on bass.
In 2011, local and national press bestowed generous accolades on their intimate debut folk EP ‘Rest’. Upon its release, The Portland Mercury compared the songwriting skills from the EP to the early strides of Portland songstress Laura Gibson mixed with an intimate violin arrangements and borderline orchestral musical landscapes. But recently the band has been turning up the volume and mixing in a bit of psychedelic fuzz in their versatile sets, which has proven to be quite rousing for every degree of audience demographic that they’ve played to.
The only hint of what’s to come is a chilling single that was independently released in March 2012 called ‘The Enemy’. The Portland Mercury describes the single as a “striking, resonant piece with a chilly but completely involving sound."
Great Wilderness has recently shared bills with Of Monsters and Men, The Mowglis, Vetiver, Castanets, Lost Lander, Pure Bathing Culture, and Sea Wolf (and many others).
From 2007 to 2012, songwriter Jesse Elliott led his rock&roll band These United States through 5 studio albums and nearly 1,000 live performances in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, appearing everywhere from Glastonbury to SXSW and Daytrotter to Lollapalooza, and garnering praise from NPR, the New York Times, SPIN, KEXP, and more. In December 2012, Elliott was stopping over in Denver for a month on his way to a new life in New York City. But as the members of Ark Life met each other, journeyed into the mountains, and started playing music together, it became clear he was going to have to stick around a bit longer. The 3-part harmonies of pianist Lindsay McWilliams, bassist Anna Morsett (also of TUS) and guitarist Natalie Tate just blended too perfectly with veteran Denver drummer Ben Desoto (Nathaniel Rateliff, The Czars, etc.) Elliott was smitten, and the result is a mile high ocean of uplift, equal parts mischief and heartthrob, that pulls as much from contemporaries like Cotton Jones, The Mynabirds, and Fruit Bats as from the band's enduring loves for Leonard Cohen, CCR, Motown, and the classic campfire singalong.
Hear Alameda in glorious duo-form: singer/guitarist Stirling Myles and cellist Jessie Dettwiler. Compared to the baroque pop of Nick Drake and the slow-core dream pop of early Low, ALAMEDA blends orchestral arrangements with modern instrumentation.