The Portland, Oregon based indie pop band TORTUNE is comprised of Lex Allyson and Hilary Hanes.
TORTUNE's sound can be described as Talking Heads meets Bel Canto, with influences ranging from Burt Bacharach to Slap Happy/Henry Cow (and, of course, The Beatles).
Lex's singing is clear and unafraid, her voice a blend of Lesley Gore and a female Morrissey; she sings lead while manning the guitar and occasional flute. Lex writes the songs, including the literate, sometimes literary, and often starkly personal lyrics. Hilary lays down a solid and melodic bass sound, sings back-up vocals, and creates the beats on their beloved drum machine, “Dix-Huit.”
Lex’s earliest memories are of singing and dancing to New Wave tunes with her parents. She began playing flute at age 9, and the day she finally picked up a guitar at 17 was the same day her passion for songwriting was born. She moved to Portland from the Bay Area at 20, and after a stint fronting her first band The Plastic Age, Lex earned an English degree, going on to create her dream band TORTUNE.
She also fronts Portland's premiere Rockabilly quartet The Twangshifters.
Hilary began his professional bass-playing career in San Francisco in the late ‘70’s -- most notably with Pearl Harbor and the Explosions, whose meteoric rise as the region’s most popular club band led to an album on Warner Bros. They opened shows for The Clash, The Police, Talking Heads and many others, as well as headlining their own national tour. Hilary’s playing can be found on several albums by the seminal Industrial band Chrome, as well as a rock band project led by the renowned avant-garde guitarist Henry Kaiser. Hilary’s work with Providence, RI, band Lucky 57 contributed to their earning a 2006 Boston Music Award for Best Americana Band.
Hil and Lex have been performing as TORTUNE since 2009. “This is without a doubt the most collaborative band I’ve ever been involved with” Hilary says, “and I’ve never worked with a better singer or songwriter than Lex.”
The genetic dynamics are apparent onstage, with an easy fluidity to TORTUNE performances that speaks to a life-time of understanding. Audiences respond to the familial connection—unmistakable throughout their instrumental and vocal harmonies—as well as to the mischievous play at work in their musicianship.