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DIY synth-poppers Wild Ones are embracing their Portland spirit—and giving some of it to us. The band—Danielle Sullivan, Thomas Himes, Clayton Knapp, Nick Vicario, Seve Sheldon and Max Steinjust—just released their latest EP Heatwave, which features an even dreamier sound than we heard on the band’s 2014 album Keep It Safe. Wild Ones wanted to prove to us that Portland was more than Portlandia, so we asked them to give us a real sense of what Portland is actually like, and they gave us a mini, mental vacation. Wild Ones’ members Sullivan and Himes spilled some Portland secrets and made us feel like we need to go on a road trip ASAP.
Favorite musical performance:
When we were underage, we attended a lot of house shows. Portland lacked an all ages venue at the time so people resorted to opening their basements to locals and touring acts. This scene culminated for us when our friends decided to host a house show festival called “Microfest.” Couches were strewn about the yard where people drank 40s, admittance was by donation, and bands would alternate between playing in the living room and the basement. I don’t know how it didn’t end up getting shut down. It was a sweaty sloppy mess but it was the best time I’ve ever had watching music and in retrospect the lineup was incredible. Somehow our teenage friends booked STRFKR, Typhoon, Calvin Johnson, Lake, Kickball, and many more awesome Portland gems. I imagine other young folks are doing the same thing in NE somewhere. Go find them.
Best city moment:
Going to New Seasons Marketand knowing nearly everyone shopping and working there. Portland’s growing fast, but it’s still a small town and you constantly run into your friends when you’re out and about. Sometimes it’s awesome, and sometimes it’s not.
Song that reminds you of the city:
Ha, what’s that Everclearsong that goes, “I will buy you that big house way up in the west hills…?” Yeah, that one.
There are way too many to list so let’s just do top 3 in no particular order: Le Pigeon is the best french inspired food in town hands down and Tanuki, which is for the more adventurous. Last time I went there I ate pickled jellyfish, kobe beef skewers, and oysters with savory shaved ice. Khun Pic’s too, which is a Thai restaurant run by husband and wife out of their house. You eat in their living room and its the best thai food in Portland.
Best coffee shop to scope guys:
We go to Water Avenuecoffee which is conveniently located next to our studio. I’m a big fan of Cova Coffee as well, they’re all about pour over coffee and have a really awesome space. And of course Stumptown is everywhere, it’s delicious, and it will turn you caffeine crazy if that’s your thing.
Most of our band meetings end up at Sweet Hereafter. It’s a classy casual joint and has a delicious late night vegan food menu—I’m not vegan, and I eat there all the time.
Best places to shop:
My favorite spots are: Palace, which is a women’s lifestyle store that carries everything from traditional Japanese Kimonos to Chloe Sevignyphoto books to bundles of desert sage and Nationale, which is part art gallery, part studio and part tiny shop. I never leave this place feeling less than inspired. Also, Goodwill. To be totally honest with you 95% of my clothes are from this one giant Goodwill near my house. I’ve found vintage Calvin Klein tees, Sparkling new Adidas sneakers, and Topshop oxfords all at this little slice of thrift heaven.
Best inspiration for style:
If you hang out in a place like Heart coffee for a couple hours on a sunny Friday morning you will see the coolest range of Portland style. The spot is packed with students, musicians, visual artists, and local entrepreneurs and each person has their own bold look.
Most memorable heatwave:
Right now! When we named our Heatwave EP we had no idea there would actually be a serious heatwave in Portland.
My parents live 20 minutes outside of downtown up in the hills on 7 acres of forest. Their house is down this long winding gravel drive that opens up to a beautiful view of the coast range. It’s this perfect hidden lair for recharging and visiting with family. I spend as much time as I can there when we’re home from tour.