Portland-based alternative rock project Abandon City is quickly becoming noted for breaking down genre boundaries through a unique songwriting approach.
Helmed by multi-instrumentalist and producer Eric Leavell, Abandon City began its growth into fruition after relocating to Portland where he was influenced by the music movement that was happening there at the time.
Arriving in 2010, Leavell would ride his bike around town and listen to the sounds of bands playing in their basements.
It wasn't until 2013 that the project had begun.
"The name of this project comes from a feeling I’ve had my whole life: something isn’t right in this world and it has always felt like the ship is sinking in slow motion. And what do you do when a ship is sinking?" explains Leavell about realizing a name for the project.
The new EP release dubbed Dismissive features two tracks, each of them bringing something a little different to the table.
The "Give It Away" single gives off an inventive and forward-moving approach to alternative rock with elements of grunge and shoegaze.
"The day after I wrote the guitar part and had a clear vision of the song in my head, I was eating breakfast and scrolling Instagram and became aware of how every single advertisement was trying to convince me of how bad my life was. How I procrastinate in everything I do, or how I never sleep well, or I need this new pad that goes on my feet, and in the morning it’s full of black goo that comes out of your body. All of this is typical of living in capitalism, but because these ads are “targeted” the statements feel much more personal than some commercials you see on TV.
While I was realizing this, I had this strong reaction like, “Fuck this! Life isn’t perfect but I think I’m doing pretty damn good!”. I felt for everyone who uses these apps, people who can’t be present in their body and internalize all this negative/critical talk pointed directly at them. There’s never going to be an end to this cycle, no amount of “self-help” purchases will stop the onslaught of ads trying to convince you of how unhappy you are. Not only do we need to deal with our negative self-talk, we now have our phones constantly helping us come up with new reasons why we should feel bad about ourselves." says the songwriter of what triggered the single.
After seeing some success with the “Codeine/Mirrors” release in 2017, Leavell got a grasp on the sound he wanted for Abandon City.
Although he enjoyed the direction the project was going, the Covid lockdown changed things and Leavell pivoted towards music production starting with a duo put together with a close friend.
This ended up opening his musical horizons as the duo produced dance, R&B, and pop-oriented songs with singers around Portland and when the live music scene returned in 2022, Leavell went on to perform with other bands including a shoegaze/post-punk outfit called The Moon Caravan.
Being a part of all this different music helped influence the sound of the newly released Dismissive EP.
As the artist himself explains, "Dismissive serves as a spiritual reboot of Abandon City. In the past, I felt that I needed a consistent and rigid sound for this project: Drums, Bass, 2 Guitars, and a Vocal (that’s probably barely audible in the background). But as I produced more and more music of different styles, I knew that I wanted to start playing with all of the elements that compliment that core guitar and vocal sound that is uniquely me."
The Dismissive EP is available on all streaming outlets now, and Abandon City plans to release more material this year.
To connect with Abandon City, please visit: abandon city