Featured Artist of the Month for August – Five of the Eyes
Even if you have a favorite genre, you tend to love an array of sounds and reverberations that
take you on a journey. Streaming services have caught onto this human trend by creating
curated playlists that allow you to shuffle through different sounds and vibes to do the work for
you so you don’t have to settle for one feeling.
Portland’s own local band, Five of the Eyes, embodies this by defying genre. Inspired by
influences like The Mars Volta, James Brown, and Queens of the Stone Age, the progressive
rock band can’t be boxed into one genre. Rather, their sound takes you on a sonic journey that
attracts listeners of all types of music.
A Sonic Journey With Five of the Eyes
The band has evolved and elevated over time, which is reflected in their music. Some of the
Eyes have been playing together for decades but all came together for the like-minded purpose
of making music they enjoy and you will, too.
Vocalist/pianist, Darrell Foster, started his music career in Portland playing in various other
projects around town like Mother Leopard, Paper Tales, and doing what Mainers love to hear:
local cover shows. An open mic back in the day brought the band members together and now
Ned Rich (guitar), Tim Meehan (guitar), Darrell Foster (vocals/keys), Thomas Meehan (Bass),
and Peter Griffith (Drums) are taking Portland on a transit that is out of this world.
Their first full-length album debut was in 2017 with The Venus Transit, which you can tell just
from the trippy cover art will take you on a spiritual, physical, and mental journey of sound
throughout the entire project. Produced and engineered by Jonathan Wyman at The Halo and
Mastered by grammy award-winning engineer Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering Studios, the
debut album is a perfect example of why we can’t lock these guys into an anchored genre type.
Opening the Five Eyes
An energetic show at Empire in 2015 was the catalyst for the growth of the band along with
support and zestful performances at Portland House of Music. Impressively, the Eyes sold out
State Theatre with a David Bowie tribute in Portland, creating an epic milestone for the band.
The vitality of their sound and performance can be felt through footage of their early shows that
give off 90’s-era vibes from old-school MTV performances we all grew up venerating.
The palpable energy of the crowd, the lively performance on stage by the musicians, and the
ridiculous notes being hit on stage as they perform their first song “Isabella” will get you amped
up just watching the video. When was the last time you saw a music style like this getting ripped
on a stage in Portland?
Behind the Eyes
The lyrical theme for their journey through the music is song-by-song exploration of the human
experience. Inspiring improvisation, meanings manifesting into fruition, and subconscious
expression of inner chaos are what lie behind the lyrics of the Eyes.
“Maybe this is where I brush my hair to the side of my face and just say that it’s really deep and
emotional and just really, really deep.” – Darrell
Music is therapeutic for a lot of us and where we find refuge, inspiration, contentment, and
sometimes even safety. Lyrics and sound are able to grasp what we humans aren’t able to
conversely express and that’s what the Eyes’ music epitomizes.
Become the Sixth Eye
More than just taking you on a sonic expedition through time and space, Five of the Eyes will
create an energetic, lively, entertaining performance they put their all into. They leave nothing
behind when they step on stage, creating contagious energy that soars through the crowd.
Regardless of your taste in genre, there’s something to be felt and experienced at these shows.
Be a part of it on August 19 at Portland House of Music when Five of the Eyes hits the stage
with one of their favorite local bands, Junesevere. I could sit here and babble all day about what
their music means and feels like but nothing will compare to experiencing it for yourself. You
definitely won’t find a sound like this elsewhere.