Listen to Portland’s Helvetia deliver an eerie rendition of the Vince Guaraldi classic “Christmas Time is Here.”
Portland-based multi-instrumentalist, singer and recording engineer Elly Swope has been writing and recording music under the moniker Focus! Focus! since 2009, and has toured the West Coast regularly with her live band of Victoria Valenzuela (Loveboys), Luke Messimer (formerly Bryan John Appleby, Mississippi Man) and Jesse Sandoval (formerly The Shins, The Minders).
Currently, Swope is working on a long-term project called Wester, a 14-track, three-part album with accompanying short stories. In 2015, she released the first installment of the trilogy, Episode. 1, and today Eleven PDX is pleased to premiere “Concrete,” the first single from the second part of the Wester series.
The song retains a traceable element of the folk-tinged indie pop present on 2010’s self-titled debut album and Episode. 1, but Swope also flexes a new set of muscles, unveiling a sound that’s more aggressive and driving, bringing Focus! Focus! into more of a post-punk/alt-rock territory reminiscent to Sleater-Kinney’s critically acclaimed 2015 reunion album No Cities To Love. This sonic shift is most welcomed and we couldn’t be more excited to hear the rest of the tracks to come.
Catch Focus! Focus! live on KPSU radio Friday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m., and see them in person Friday night at Kelly’s Olympian for a single release celebration with support from Starover Blue and Finally North.»
– Travis Leipzig