Portland’s Eidolons have just released their first full-length recording, China. The cover photo features a slightly out-of-shape guy in socks and tighty-whiteys but reveals nothing about the music inside — only that the band operates with an independent frame of mind.
The music is a mixture of airy, atmospheric wanderings that alter between edgy pop, neo-psychedelia, and earthy grit. Formed in January 2011 at Lewis & Clark College (the bass player literally plucked from a cafeteria food line just before the first practice), this five-piece has found Oregon’s forest environs to its creative liking.
“A lot of the influence comes from being in a place that’s stunningly gorgeous,” says guitarist/vocalist Dan Byers. “The climate here is good for staying inside and writing music.”
But despite songs about nature, the occasional acoustic moments, and a general looseness to the album’s varied material, it’s best not to label the group “freak folk,” as some have.
“I don’t know how that happened to us, but it’s not really us.” Byers says. “I don’t really know what that is.”
He’s right. Eidolons are best experienced with no preconceptions and instead rightly celebrated for their vibrant creativity. —Glenn BurnSilver
(This article appears in the June 21, 2012 issue of Phoenix New Times.)