It’s the dog days of summer and, let’s be honest, we all need a pick-me-up—some respite from the doldrums of sweat-slick slumber and sunburns. Luckily for you, there’s always a new soundtrack for your seasonal maladies, and a reasonable cure has arrived for you via new Portland ensemble Maurice & The Stiff Sisters. Lead by vocalist and guitarist Maurice Spencer (PWRHAUS), the Stiff Sisters (also featuring members of Future Historians, Ezra Bell and Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat) parlay horn-forward soul in a kooky cosmic samba with pop sensibilities and songs bursting with buoyant idealism and swagger.
Their first single, “Unlucky in Love,” comes armed with sultry tenor sax and trumpet, cutting a smooth groove through an otherwise ardent ‘60s power-pop gem. Approximating a nuanced reggae vocal, Spencer trades away games of chance for emotional security, crooning dutifully above a pocket-tight rhythm from bassist Mike Doherty and drummer Dave Shur.
No one wants to be unlucky in love, but should you find yourself mired in such straits, finding solace in song is acceptable therapy. If this first single by Maurice & The Stiff Sisters is any inkling, you’ll have many more reasons to keep your ears tuned to their addictive frequencies.