Have you ever visited a city and fallen in love with it almost as soon as you stepped foot in it? I felt that way about San Francisco the first time I visited it as an adult, and now I’ve felt that way about Portland, Oregon. Seriously, Portland is a pretty amazing city: lots of small micro-breweries, bookstores (including the world famous Powell’s), awesome restaurants, and an amazingly vibrant local music scene. The food scene included restaurants run by James Beard-nominated chefs, heart-attack-waiting-to-happen biscuits, and a food cart named after the band Built to Spill (see the picture above). After scouring the crates of at least 5-6 different record stores, I brought home a vinyl comp from High Scores and Records featuring Guidance Counselor, Breakfast Mountain, Jeffrey Jerusalem, Wampire, May Ling, and Atole that I can highly recommend. But my favorite record store find was Typhoon‘s latest album titled Hunger and Thirst.
Typhoon is a well-known staple of the Portland local music scene – having gained recognition for their stunning live performances which are known to feature as many as 17 musicians. Fronted by singer and songwriter Kyle Morton, Typhoon’s latest album Hunger and Thirst is high-powered storm of lush instrumentation and soulful vocals that gains speed as it tears a path across a rural landscape of regret, bruised-feelings, and death balanced with a sense of hope and redemption. There are hints of Bright Eyes, dashes of Sufjan Stevens, moments of Dodos, and an aroma that calls to mind Beirut. It is an extremely solid album that truly flows from track to track, but a few highlights include the opening track “Starting Over (Bad Habits)”, as well as the tunes “CPR / Claws Pt. 2”, “Body of Love,” and “Mouth of the Cave.”
Typhoon takes the title for my bet for Best New Band in Oregon, but since I’m not an Oregon resident, I’d love to hear suggestions from our Oregon readers. Pick up a copy of Hunger and Thirst on white vinyl from Tender Loving Empire.
Head back to eating/sf to read the eating/sf eating and drinking guide to Portland (and a few other stops we made along the way).