If you’ve been eavesdropping on Portland's music scene the past few years, you’ve probably already caught wind of New Move’s catchy American groove pop. Formed from the ashes of Oh Captain My Captain by frontman Jesse Bettis, New Move has been amassing members since 2012, and now boasts a lineup of Jeff Bond (drums), Pedro Wilcox (keys), Alex Bekuhrs (baritone sax), Seth Mankoski (bass), and Casey Burge (bass). After a series of starts and stops and starts again—more below!—New Move’s self-titled debut is finally being released by Bug Hunt, with a Rontoms release show on Sunday, January 31. And we’ve got a sneak preview of the whole album to get you geared up for the party. Check it out below, and read on to hear from Bettis about how being stabbed prompted a change of course.
New Move’s new album was ready in July 2013, but we’re only getting it now . . . what happened?
Jesse Bettis: The album was complete. It was already mixed and everything, and I had plans to release it myself and then I got stabbed.
Stabbed? What happened?
It was PDX Pop and I had some friends in town. We went back to my house with a bunch of people and my roommates also had friends over, so there was a large convergence of people. The gentleman who stabbed me came off the street, which is normally a welcome thing in our house, and in Portland is pretty normal. Fast forward to the end of the night, he just didn’t want to go, but it was 4 am and everyone was leaving. He wouldn’t leave, and so some friends carried him outside. I followed to make sure that a fight didn’t break out. But when those guys dropped him off at the bottom of my stoop and came inside, he rushed me and gave me a punch in the side. I didn’t feel anything, and I came inside and everyone was like, "Oh my God, you’re bleeding."
From a knife wound, as it turned out, that landed you in hospital and then off work for a period of recovery. What then?
It kind of led to me thinking things through a lot more thoroughly and I changed the plan. The new plan became to release the album's five singles—with B-sides—throughout the year. Instead of having one big party, one big release for one album, I’d have five big parties throughout the year to carry the momentum forward. I just had no desire to rush anything, to rush into the headache of putting a full length album out by myself.
My plan was that was going to be finished in September 2015. And then we got about three singles in and Bug Hunt hunt approached me and said they liked it and wanted to release the record. So then we started over again. Now, finally, the album is coming out on vinyl.
Is it a relief to have a record label at your back?
I’m definitely relieved, and I’m excited about what we’re going to do moving forward.