Four hours south of Portland, Oregon, the Rogue River flows right through the center of a small municipality called Shady Cove. This is where songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Sarah Rose and Sarah Nienaber, formerly of Candace, recorded the track that would become the name of their new project; this is where, in an unassuming cabin, the two seasoned collaborators began exploring desire’s revolutionary potential and the nomadic impulses borne of creative restlessness and the claustrophobia of city life. “We were not writing these songs with the idea of a band in mind,” says Sarah Rose, describing how the album came together. “It felt like these songs wanted to belong to something new, rather than the continuation of a previous project.” “We’re always searching for the right place, the good place, the landing place, the final resting place,” Nienaber reflects, implying that the only thing that will satisfy desire is more desire. “In these songs, I think there is a self-conscious acknowledgement that I, or you, or we, will never get there … Shady Cove is a celebration of that unshakeable longing, the forever search.”
At the junction of sparse folk, pop, and cosmic country you’ll find Junior, helmed by three Missoula, MT-based songwriters. Listeners might have heard members of Junior play in groups including: Butter, Stellarondo, Burlesco, Broken Valley Roadshow, Shahs, Hermina Jean, The
Cigarette Girls, Caroline Keys, Worst Feelings, Danny’s Dilemma, Travis Sehorn and the Pebble Light, The Best Westerns, and Patsy Grime. Each member of Junior packs a quiver of instrumental skills and is constantly acquiring more to add to the group. Junior has been compared to Sibylle Baier, Karen Dalton, and The Roches.
Like many of his favorite songwriters (John Hartford, Lucinda Williams, Jeff Tweedy), Izaak Opatz is an ungulate in life’s winter pasture, chewing on and metabolizing disappointment, heartbreak, and the other tough stuff into enjoyable musical carbohydrates. A compulsive metaphorager (and inveterate wordplayboy), Opatz breaks it all down with enzymes of wry humor, thoughtful simile and close observation - a therapeutic process of narrativizing his own life that, almost as a byproduct, turns out savory nuggets of literate, confessional pop.