TOC presents Sama Dams w/ Dear Nora
Saturday, November 3, 2018
All Ages | Bar with ID
The music of Sama Dams steals from you most virtuously -- it will rob your sense of time and leave you wondering how long youve been awash in sound, rhythm, and ether.
On their fourth release, Say It -- released on Friendship Fever on April 6 -- Lisa Adams emerges from the background to deliver commanding lead vocals in her clarion soprano alongside partner Sam and the highly textured drumming of Chris Hermsen.
Almost in answer to the muted ambivalence that marks movements from the bands previous Comfort in Doubt, Say It features the trio striking boldly throughout, both musically and thematically. According to Sam, Its about being more honest about what were thinking and feeling.
Inspiration came from a year of watching silence make a mess of love in friendships close to the band. Something seems off - you sniff something, says Sam. You dont acknowledge it exists, and so by letting a small problem go, you allow it to grow. Whats the use for pockets if theyre empty?/Fill them up with things you use against me, sings Lisa on the albums first track, succinctly summing up the war of attrition underlying a failing relationship.
The bands hallmark of grooving angularity packs even more punch when partnered with direct pathos, as in tracks like Driving By. Melding the wailing riffiness of fellow Midwest native Billy Corgan at his best with the cool synthesizer of a hundred beloved 80s soundtracks gone by, Sama Dams takes their distinctly left-field sound into anthem territory, and does it with audacious and tender authenticity.
The album feels like a coming-of-age for the band, who have been creating and touring out of Portland, Oregon since 2012. Having first pitched their tent in a time and place that revolved around the folky fusion of bands like The Decembrists, Sama Dams now claims a favored seat in a music scene edgier and more eclectic than the Pacific Northwest itself.
The Adams's, proactive about fueling the creative partnership at the heart of the band, are constantly looking both outward and inward for inspiration. They have toured relentlessly both domestically and abroad since the release of their first full-length album, honing their ambidextrous live performance to a soulful effortlessness that belies the complexity of the music. Their dynamism is infectious, spawning side projects and writing experiments that span states and genres.
Songwriter Katy Davidson (preferred pronoun: they/them) revived the band Dear Nora in January 2017 when Orindal Records reissued the thirteen-year-old album Mountain Rock on vinyl. The reissue received great acclaim and the band toured the west and east coasts last year. Spurred by the momentum, Davidson decided to create the first album of new Dear Nora material in a decade, Skulls Example (release date: May 25, 2018).
Davidson has been composing, recording, and performing for nearly twenty years. Davidson is from rural Arizona, has lived in Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and currently resides in Twentynine Palms, California. Davidson has played under a handful of monikers, but Dear Nora is the one most widely recognized. Dear Nora originally started in 1999, released a handful of enigmatic, compelling albums throughout the early 2000s, and toured across the United States, Japan, Sweden and Australia. Throughout the years, the Dear Nora live band featured a rotating cast of band members, though oftentimes Davidson played solo. Davidson retired the band name Dear Nora in 2008 and began making music under the names Lloyd & Michael and Key Losers.
Davidson's music represents a spectrum of styles encompassing classic rock, experimental music, ethereal pop, new age, punk, and R&B. Davidson writes lyrics with layered meanings that contemplate the vast realms and intersections of wilderness, humanity, morality, technology, late capitalism, and love.
The Old Church Concert Hall (View)
1422 SW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97201
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: Yes!|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|