Listen to Portland’s Helvetia deliver an eerie rendition of the Vince Guaraldi classic “Christmas Time is Here.”
Portland band Force Publique often transcends genre, adapting from song to song, blending hip-hop, grunge, and shoegaze into a unique and entrancing brand of dark pop. This is no different on their newest release, Bloom, which takes all the best elements of their previous release, Pure, and makes it more sinister.
This overarching darkness is only made more evident with the release of their music video “Hopeless,” the first track off of Bloom. The song itself is somewhat unassuming, neither as frantic as “Stranger” or as grungy as “子供” but the way Cassie Graves’ ethereal voice tangles with the rhythms will linger in your memory. “Hopeless” is both lovely and tragic, an eerie imagining of what it’s like to be lost and drawn in by something beautiful and dangerous. Force Publique isn’t often categorized as psychedelic, but the narrative of “Hopeless” seems to have been pulled directly from a fever dream, a terrifying trip and an important lesson you’re not likely to forget. »
– Sarah Eaton