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Music Scene: new and noteworthy

There’s always that next band, artist or musician with talent aplenty just waiting to be discovered by we, the music lovers of the world.

Who are the most promising acts, and which artists have the staying power to make the leap from anonymity to stardom?

It’s a tough question, deserving of a thoughtful answer.

I turned to PRP’s intrepid, well-versed music aficionado Jen Jared, who hosts Portland Radio Project’s “Fresh Spins.”

Two artists she’s currently loving?

Portland’s own alt rock Ezza Rose – whose musical influences include Etta James and Stevie Nicks – and London’s psych-rock Club Kuru.

Ezza Rose

Making records and establishing herself since 2007, Portland’s Ezza Rose has toured communities as far away as New Zealand.

A talented vocalist and songwriter, Rose’s evolving music could today be described as psychedelic pop.

This is “Amelie,” an Ezza Rose original currently on PRP’s playlist:

Rose’s “When the Water’s Hot” (2015), her follow-up to “Poolside,” was a musical shift away from acoustic – folk to alt – rock…a shift that continues today.

Her latest release is 7-track EP “No Means No.” Opening with powerful, dreamy alt-rock “Circles,” Rose’s newest also boasts tender and soothing “Baby, Come Down,” acoustic, introspective “Sorry Isn’t Good Enough” and appealing pop-rock “Hands of Gold.”

About the album’s high-octane “No Means No” title track, Rose told Portland’s Mercury News: “It’s a reminder that I think truth is a real thing, and I think we’re lacking it as a society right now.” Have a listen:

To sum up? Ezza Rose’s newest diverse and compelling release might be just what you’re looking for.

Club Kuru

London duo Club Kuru are a delightful blend of indie psych-pop and R&B. Comprised of Laurie Erskine on vocals and Laurence Hammerton on guitar, they released their debut LP “Giving In” just last year.

The pair reside in South London and record in a home studio, where they make the majority of their music “using analogue equipment from a bygone era.”

From “Giving In,” here’s “Not for Me”:

For fans of The Shins, Pink Floyd and Tame Impala, Club Kuru are a band to watch.

They’re getting set to tour Europe as they promote their second album “Meet Your Maker,” which releases in May.

Wasteland, Baby!

Lastly, don’t miss Hozier’s newest.

His first release since his 2014 debut, “Wasteland, Baby!” bears the same depth, style and excitement that made him so popular the first time ‘round.

Opening with hit single “Nina Cried Power” (featuring Mavis Staples), “Wasteland” never disappoints, and often surprises.

Watch for the party vibe of “Almost (Sweet Music),” and celebrative “To Noise Making (Sing)” – currently on our playlist.

Equally compelling are somber, thought-provoking “As It Was,” the lyricism and passion of “Movement” and the heart-wrenching love song that is “Shrike.”

“Wasteland, Baby!” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard – the first rock album to lead the Billboard 200 in more than three months.

We think the title track is pretty special, and it’s on our playlist.

Wasteland, Baby!

That’s a wrap!

Support your favorite musicians and see you at the record store – or better yet, at a live performance, soon.

Cynthia Orlando
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