(I'm pretty easily impressed.)
First up is the splendid new one from Campfires, who we introduced to you a little while back. Campfires is the alter ego of lo-fi recordist and pop-song maestro Jeff Walls, and according to him, it's the first proper full-length he's ever put together, despite a litter of singles and albums left in Campfires' messy wake. Walls is new to Portland but he's not new to making great, snappy songs, and the new Tomorrow, Tomorrow sounds like a treasure trove of long-forgotten sounds. It comes out on vinyl next week, on February 19, on Fire Talk, and is now and is now streaming on the Portals site.
Next is Eat Skull, whose cleverly titled III—perhaps taking its cue from Unknown Mortal Orchestra's newest one, II—is their most ambitious and wide-reaching work to date. There's gorgeous pop and addled garage, melty gooey synths and some really abrasive other timbres as well. It's a fierce, compelling album and a very welcome return for the Portland band. Eat Skull's III comes out on Woodsist Records next week and is streaming in full on Pitchfork.
Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside's new one has a racy cover and even racier tunes. Ford's shrugged off the lilting, almost jazzy sound that introduced her to audiences in exchange for full-blooded rock 'n' roll, and Untamed Beast is a fine showcase for her brassy vocals, excellent songwriting, and the Sound Outside's lockstep, swinging rock 'n' roll. Untamed Beast comes out next week on Partisan (again, on February 19!); listen to it in full right now on the Onion's AV Club.
UPDATE: What's this? The new STRFKR album, Miracle Mile, is streaming at the AV Club as well... With deep album cuts like "Atlantis" and "Leave It All Behind," this is one of the richest and most fun things the guys have ever done. Go over and listen to that one, too.