9.29.2010

Listening To >> Portugal. The Man


Full on obsessed with Portugal. The Man, despite that obnoxious "." in the middle of their name.  (I realize it's hypocritical for me to critique someone else for reappropriating punctuation since I regularly make up my own words and generally feel free to use punctuation as I see fit, but for some reason that period really irks me.  I reappropriate punctuation in order to affect a certain reading of the sentence, whereas I feel like they did it just to be "conceptual.")

HOWEVER, I am able to overlook this gaff because their music is SO GOOD.  I haven't fallen for a new band, since, well, let's be honest, the last time I uttered that phrase on this blog, which probably wasn't that long ago, but I'm blinded my newfound love for them.  Their sound is hard to pin down, but if you can imagine a cross between the Black Keys and a grown-up MGMT, and if you ever loved 311 (I swear there's some faint echoes of 311, it took me forever to figure out who it is, but that's it), and all of this is sounding appealing, you should check them out.


I was immediately won over by their tinges of neo-soul, but they are nothing if not heterogeneous, building an indie-rock sound from influences ranging from classic rock, blues, and gospel to electronica and psych-pop with floating harmonies and John Gourley's vocals being the constants tying it all together.  Interestingly, the producer was Paul Kolderie, who has worked with both Radiohead and Pixies, and you can hear his influence in their as well.


So the first two songs are from their new album, The Satanic Satanist (meant to be ironic, don't worry), and I'd recommend starting with that one if you want to pick an album to download.  They've got their story a little better figured out by this album, paring down the influences slightly and avoiding self-indulgent guitar solos, and it's more immediately accessible because of it.

Then, if you're hungry for more, venture on back to Censored Colors, which you might take a little longer to warm up to but is ultimately rewarding.  The final song here is from that album.  You'll see what I mean-- at first you're going to be like, "hmmm," but wait until 0:28 when the piano comes in, and then at 0:52 you're going to really know I didn't lead you astray.

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