Angelikah Fahray. Photo by Brian Delgado

Portland R&B singer Angelikah Fahray released the scintillating single “If I Would Die” on April 25.

The track was produced by Will Bradford (Seepeoples, The Worst) and Will Holland (Pixies, Dead Can Dance) and is available on streaming platforms.

“If I Would Die” shows off Fahray’s silky, liquid gold vocals. The tune is a kaleidoscopic fusion of a soulful ballad swirled into a trip-hop framework.

Fahray’s love-laced lyrics drip with longing and the lavish backing harmonies add a layer of potency to a song that turns the temperature up with its sensuality.

PET SOUNDS

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Sara Goldenthal is a Rockport-based jazz singer and cat behaviorist who recently merged both worlds with the May 1 release of an ethereal 18-minute track called “Angels Surround You” that’s meant to soothe cats.

Goldenthal’s vocals are layered on a lush bed of ambient sounds created by her composer friend Michal Hyland.

Sara Goldenthal with her cats, Blue and Sky. Photo courtesy of the artist

Goldenthal spent more than 20 years working in animal shelters and witnessed firsthand how frightening and traumatizing it was for the cats.

Last year, Hyland saw video footage of Goldenthal performing and reached out to suggest they collaborate on something.

Goldenthal was game, especially since the idea for “Angels Surround You” is something that had been simmering for several years.

The music Hyland created for “Angels Surround You” uses something called the Solfeggio frequency, which is thought to reduce negative thoughts in the brain, improve sleep and reduce stress and anxiety, among other health benefits.

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The track is a hypnotic cocoon that leads the listener into a sound sanctuary that shimmers with a tranquil glow.

Goldenthal’s voice seems to float above the other sounds as the lines “Angels surround you/they love you, they shimmer” are repeated.

Goldenthal said her own two cats, Sky and Blue, seem to be responding well to it. Sky, still a kitten, was recently running around wildly, knocking things over. “I cranked it up to see what would happen, and within four minutes, both cats chilled out,” said Goldenthal. Sky settled down and Blue’s reaction was to lie in the sun on his back, paws up.

Goldenthal plans to send the track to cat shelters around the country, as well as in Europe. Anyone who wants to hear it but doesn’t have streaming access can reach out to her via saradgolden@hotmail.com to request an MP3 (digital file).

ANOTHER SINGLE FROM 12/OC

Portland-based country band 12/OC released its latest single, “Problems,” on April 24.

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The song is a sturdy country rocker with sweeping guitar licks and Reid Nichols’ bold, clear vocals about knocking back rum runner cocktails to numb the pain that only one person can fix. “Baby I’ve got problems, you’re the only fix.” While the ex might not come back, the song keeps on giving with a huge hook.

12/OC was formed in 2015 when Nichols (lead singer) was 11 and his brother, Will (lead guitar, backing vocals), was 14. The current lineup also features George Chaison-Lapine (drums) and Chris Fawcett (bass). Sammy Thayer is the band’s front of house engineer.

Will explained the band name: 12/OC is a carpentry term. When building a house, floor joists are supposed to be framed 16/OC (16 inches on center). A mishap happened during the construction of a bunkhouse at Moosehead Lake, resulting in a floor that was 12/OC. The name stuck, or in this case, was nailed down.

Will (left) and Reid Nichols of 12/OC. Photo by Jason Legassie

In 2023, the 12/OC song “Forever Bound” spent 16 weeks as the most requested song on Maine country radio station WPOR.

About a half dozen have followed, including “Better With Beer,” released earlier this year, along with “Falling From Grace” and “Mama’s Right” in 2023.

While the band does plan on making a full-length album at some point, song-by-song releases are working for them at the moment. “In this day and age, singles are the way to go,” said Will Nichols.

12/OC performs Friday in Belfast as part of the All Roads Music Festival. Tickets are $25.


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