Longclaw is a four-piece band from Portland, Oregon that specializes in a melodic, hard-hitting blend of hardcore, post-punk, and shoegaze.
Comprised of longtime players in the hardcore community—guitarist/vocalist Jen Hauser, drummer Stacey Spencer, bassist/vocalist Matt Koenig, and guitarist Alexander Case—the group came together in 2016. “I’d honestly never had great experiences being in bands with men before,” Spencer says. “I always ended up feeling belittled, not good enough, or unheard. This band has been such a different experience for me. Not only is Jen an incredibly supportive friend and band member, both Matt and Alex follow our lead on this as well. They’re open, vulnerable, and emotionally available. We talk through everything, we cry together sometimes, and we tell each other we love each other a lot. We hold space for each other to feel all the feelings, we validate and respect one another. It’s been a really powerful experience playing with these amazing people.”
Next month, Longclaw will release its debut EP, “Patterns.” “This album was written halfway between a promise I made to myself—to acknowledge and integrate the grief I hold, and to face and express my own anger. These two things are greatly suppressed or misdirected in our society, especially for women,” Hauser says. “These songs are the result of some of the first steps of unlearning and coming into an authority of your own. Discontinuing allowing louder, more societally excusable voices to overshadow your own.”
These themes are the focal point of the EPs emotion-laden title track, which is also the band’s first single. “During one of our shows, Jen said something about this song that really struck me: ‘It’s okay to feel angry, and it’s okay to express your anger. But you don’t have to be overshadowed by people just being they’re angrier, or more expressive with their anger.’” Spencer says. “That statement hit me hard, because I feel like that’s been a constant pattern of mine, and for a lot of women. We’re taught to back down, be quiet, and be soft when people around us are mad, loud, or violent. This has caused me so much heartache, from staying in abusive relationships to withdrawing from people because I didn’t know how to process my feelings. Our single is all about breaking those patterns.”
To accompany the single’s release, Longclaw created a music video that showcases the enviable camaraderie and friendship between the band members through their practice and recording sessions. Check it out now, and find out more about the upcoming EP release here.