Music: Mark McGuire – Luminous, Black Sky

If you live here in Portland, you’re probably sick to death of listening to people go on and on about what a cool city we have here. But, by golly, it’s the truth. It’s a welcoming place that allows for a fair amount of anonymity for even the most well-known musician. You have the space and the creative energy to feed off of to make great work. At least that’s what I’m guessing attracted Emeralds member Mark McGuire to venture west and end up in our fair city.

Although he and his band aren’t household names, they have been getting a lot of attention in the press. That hasn’t kept him in hiding however. McGuire’s been playing the occasional show around town and popping up at shows. And he’s used the sanity of our city to create some very impressive work, such as this track taken from Nightshade, a cassette he sold on a recent Japanese tour.

This is the kind of work we’ve come to expect from McGuire and his band – a bubbling and beautiful bit of dark electronics. It sounds like it’s stuck between stations, with lovely acoustic folk fighting for space with shimmering ambient pop. No one wins, necessarily. They just bounce up against each other until they both flicker into oblivion.

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