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Seldom does a rock band arrive with the nerve, ambition, and confidence to do something different. Often this attempt is marked by a unique sound or a defining look that separates them from what is going on elsewhere. Other times, a group stands out because they dare to stretch themselves as artists and as performers. Portland's NIAYH are currently doing something that is both bold and wildly intriguing. The sextet have created a groundbreaking musical fusion project that ventures beyond traditional ideas of genre to create something striking and entirely new.
The era of neatly classified and formulaic music is dying a much deserved death, and in its place the indie innovator is surging upward. Armed with a school bus, an independent studio, and a massive grassroots following, NIAYH has developed a reputation as one of the Northwest's most important bands. Since the release of their debut album, "Hope" (2008), the band's sound has ripened and evolved into something dark and magical. Their upcoming EP release (April 2011) provides a stark contrast to Hope and marks a sort of coming of age for the band. Where NIAYH was once light-hearted and refreshing, they have matured to become more complex, more dynamic. Lush soundscapes melt into tightly crafted grooves and soar to anthemic hooks only to spit the listener out in a maelstrom of emotions, delirious and yet somehow comforted. Their music heals through a fearless expression of what is real.