Pictorials, “Sense of Vanity”

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Portland's Pictorials bring to mind this endless summer of re-issues, as it seems we can hardly go a month without invoking the monolith of material churned by Brit labels like Factory and Creation in the 80s and 90s. When we talk about Portland, we're used to wracking our brains and musing wildly to pin down a new noise band or experimental outfit. Pictorials are a blindside band. We knew there had to be folks in Oregon that could write good pop records without having to wedge in the weird tendencies, it just took us awhile to find them.

Pictorials is a threesome comprised of Nate Otani, Morgan Nicholson and Mike Moreau. Spawned from a love for Brit masters from Manchester, the group is comprised of dudes who used to be in weird bands like Otani and Moreau's electronic project Procedures and Nicholson a touring player with Black Moth Super Rainbow's Tobacco, but when they got together it became less about experimentation and more about finding an escape from banality. On “Sense of Vanity”, the opening track from the band's Learning EP, Pictorials are talking circles around the matter at hand in the name of avoiding the mark of vanity. It's as though in all their efforts to elaborate on the various ways they are outside of vanity's grasp, it becomes curious as to who they are trying to convince, a valued friend on the other line or themselves.

Pictorials' Learning EP is out in September on Pictorials' imprint déjà view.