New Move, led by Portland native Jesse Bettis, produces modern pop gems full of nods to pop’s past. In 2016, the band signed to Bug Hunt (Tender Loving Empire imprint), who released their eponymous debut LP. The LP proved to be a perfect vehicle for the band to explore their take on classic pop, while Bettis was honing his idea of the perfect song. On the record you’ll hear the band digging in, turning old tropes on their head, with new energy and overall pulling off a slick, hook-laden album.
The first single, “The City Life”, caught the ear of Eric Davidson at CMJ, who described the pulsing, anthemic ode to the grind of daily life, “Like if early Todd Rundgren was a disgruntled intern at Playstation’s soundlab, dreaming of fun in the sun somewhere.” Furthermore, the record cemented New Move’s reputation in Portland as a band to watch, with a growing fanbase and a loyal following.
In 2017, Bettis made a substantial pivot toward collaboration by producing New Move II: Back In The Habit. The record is a track by track re-production of New Move’s 2016 self-titled debut. The difference from the debut lies in its secret: alchemy. Teaming up with other artists, Bettis let them guide the creative process, re-interpreting the songwriting as their own and the results were indeed magical.
From Portland magazine, Willamette Week: “Bettis doesn’t just feature local talent on his songs, he allows them to make the songs theirs. Y La Bamba takes ‘When Did We Stop’ from plinky, optimistic doo-wop to sweeping, horn-topped Latin euphoria, while Chanti Darling totally reinvents straight-ahead rock ballad ‘The City Life’ with clubby R&B sex appeal. Radiation City’s take on ‘No One But Her’ could be easily mistaken for the last-ever Rad City song, with muted, loungey percussion and saxophone and thickly stacked harmonies relishing the runs between notes…It’s a manifesto on the unshakable virtues of classic pop, and it is solidly convincing.”
Back in the Habit marked a turn in New Move’s relationship with the Portland music scene. Allowing the space for others’ input has become an essential element of creativity for Bettis and New Move.
Their most recent release, Paradise Hotel, is a compilation of songs written by thirteen Portland artists. The comp was put together more like an album than a typical compilation with all of the bands recording new material, and allowing Bettis to take the creative helm in the studio as producer of the entire project. Nearly all of the featured bands have worked with Misplaced Screen Printing, a local company and co-creators of Paradise Hotel. “This comp is the next step in our evolution. We want collaboration to become our new habit. It just so happens these artists get their merch made through Misplaced, so the partnership just made sense.”
The band is also currently writing their next record and producing a series of comedy videos. Keep your eyes and ears peeled.