Song of the Week: ‘My Baby Don't’ by The Shivas
Garage rock has a storied local history. One of the most popular Portland-recorded tunes ever (and Oregon's only entry on Rolling Stone's shiny new "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list) is a fuzzy 1963 cover of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen; before they were a silly ’70s novelty act, Paul Revere & the Raiders were scuzzy, surf-adjacent hitmaking machines. And just north, in Tacoma, sat the Sonics, arguably the movement's most important group.
So Portland four-piece the Shivas, who've been making dependable psych/garage rock for a decade and a half, are carrying a PNW mantle that stretches back to JFK. It's to their credit, then, that "My Baby Don't," off their September LP Feels So Good // Feels So Bad, sounds so damn fresh.
Without losing any of the ramshackle charm of its midcentury garage rock forebearers, "My Baby Don't" is bright and close to the surface, its opening drums and guitar chords like a (loving) kick to the face. Lead singer Jared Molyneux's vocals are somehow both deadpan and half-shouted, slightly evoking Ezra Furman as he basks in the glow of uncomplicated connection. At the track's midpoint, tight vocal harmonies kick in for a joyful, melisma-ridden refrain of the title, and the whole thing swells with so much serotonin, it could put a smile on the faces of the dead.
Check out the track's cozy music video (which sees the band hitting Oregon locations as far-flung as Bridal Veil Falls and the Painted Hills) below, and stream all of Feels So Good // Feels So Bad here.