Alice Severin is starting a series looking at some great unsung and unsigned bands, who are on the cusp of wider recognition. First up, UK duo Portrayal. Rob Tranter and Joe Crook hail from the West Midlands and are producing stellar electronic music. They’ve been noticed by BBC Introducing, and are putting out an album in the next few weeks with the atmospheric title To the Black Sea. The music itself conveys hints of wistful sadness and introspective moods, while sharp synth and guitar work, coupled with almost shoegazy vocals, make for a mix that manages to straddle both electronica and rock sensibilities. Merging both tension and abstraction, like in the gorgeous track “Departures”, the band shows an ability to create emotional sketches with a fine sensibility. “Universal Libraries,” the latest track, seems even more able to spill an array of tones and moods, while “Never Adjusted” pours into the air like a song that’s always existed. The interplay between guitar and vocal is carefully interlaced, building before opening out into a chorus with wide sounds and vision.
Alice Severin spoke with Rob and Joe of Portrayal, who shared some thoughts on their music and their upcoming album.
The song came about when we were experimenting with patching up a number of guitar pedals to come up with some interesting sounds to play with. We wanted something which had a variety of dynamics and interesting sounds whilst also keeping quite a tight structure and vocal.
Update – I’m listening to the new album right now as I type this. It will be coming out, self released, at the end of March 2015. Full review to come. Great stuff. Listen to this song…
And this one…
Twitter – @portrayalmusic