Our Samantha Lopez reviews the latest from Portland band Tender Age, which recalls the best of ’90s rock.
For everyone in Portland who thinks there’s nothing to thank California for, you may feel differently after you familiarize yourself with bed., the garage-rock project of Alex and Sierra Haager.
The couple moved to Portland nearly three years ago, immediately diving into the Portland music scene, opening the music PR firm Breakup Records and releasing a handful of singles as bed. after finding drummer Andrew Meininger. Most recently though, bed. put out a five-song EP, Klickitat, that gives us the biggest dose of their dreamy slow-fi sound.
Full of paradoxes from top to bottom, this release is as surprising as it is comfortable. Album opener, “The Rule,” is immediately inviting. Thick reverb hangs like a heavy curtain, parted by a pristine guitar riff, with the light of Sierra Haager’s voice pouring through, welcoming you in. And once you’re in it, you never want to leave. Klickitat is entrancing that way, coaxing out the languid, cozy introvert in all of us. For the garage-rock lover, the level of fuzz is a soothing hum, and with lyrics like “I wanna stay inside/ I wanna stay inside,” on EP highlight “Boys,” it’s difficult not to consider the suggestion.
No song better exemplifies the buttery, sleepy ’90s dream that is bed. than “Fremm,” which relies on a super simple rhythm, and a bright guitar melody to serve as a stage for Alex and Sierra Haager’s conversational, melancholic duet. With luck, 2016 will see the release of their debut album as well, which they’ve been recording this year with Larry Crane at Portland’s Jackpot! studio. »
– Sarah Eaton
EDITOR’S NOTE: This album was selected as one of our 11 favorite Portland albums of 2016. Jump to the other year-end selections below.