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Rainy Day Music


It’s been a particularly rainy autumn around these parts. Maggie Morris, vocalist and guitarist with Portland band Genders, says the weather feels like home. “Rainy as ever!” Morris emails from Portland. “But damn if it didn’t feel really great. It’s still beautiful and magical.” 

On Nov. 4 Genders, one of Portland’s hottest young bands, released the self-produced Phone Home, an album of rainy dream-pop led off by the sweetly sad single “Life Is But A Dream.” The song features Morris’ cloudy but substantial vocals and a guitar tone that recalls The Cure or Cocteau Twins — ephemeral but also rooted.

“I think our approach this time was a bit more focused and direct,” Morris says. 

Morris says Genders recorded their latest at Portland’s Jackpot! Recording Studio. 

“I think you can really feel that live energy this time,” she says. “Additionally, we handed the whole thing over to [Portland band] Helio Sequence to mix,” adding that the band is happy with the final product. Helio Sequence "made it sound extra lush and beautiful.”

Genders recently came off a national tour with Boise indie-rock stalwarts Built to Spill, and Phone Home has that alluringly homesick quality of the best music from the ’80s and ’90s. The tour with Built to Spill included a stop at Eugene’s WOW Hall.  

“I know it was particularly meaningful for Stephen [Leisy, guitar and vocals] and Toby [Tanabe, bass], who grew up going to shows there,” Morris explains. 

“I used to play at a house there, before I even lived in Portland,” Morris says, “where a bunch of my friends lived — they were always wild and fun house shows. I have such amazing memories of those times. Can’t wait to come back.”

Genders play with country band Wheels and Americana group Wild Reeds 9:30 pm Friday, Nov. 11, at Sam Bond’s Garage; $5. 21-plus. — William Kennedy