SXSW '17: New Portals | No. 15
New Portals came to SXSW as part of the British Music Embassy’s ‘Output Belfast,’ being the only electronic duo I saw the whole week!
Ruth and Mike make the vibrant duo that is New Portals, as well as a couple of extra musicians live on stage to augment the sound they have. These guys have a strong element of songwriting in their music, much more so than a usual electronic group, but they’ve also got a really strong club-edge to their music, so to be able to merge these two and yet make the song make sense is definitely a special skill I saw in them.
This rang particularly true for sing ‘Stereo,’ – the latest single of their debut EP with the same title, released just the prior month to their SXSW performance. Lead singer Ruth’s vocals are really ambient and high on this, fierce and strong but with a sweet edge, and the production here in the breakdowns between the verses and chorus’ really technically advanced and some of the most exciting combination of sounds I’ve heard in electronic pop-music. The whole set and EP actually just screams ‘risk taking,’ which is all you can ask for from an emerging musician!
One of my other favourite performances of theirs was ‘Move So Slow,’ also off their new EP. This song has a really dark, tense vibe to it, Ruth’s vocals being particularly mysterious here and the lyrics really curious. There’s also a lot more instrumentation on here involving guitars and keys than on other songs, giving it a cool live edge to it too on top of the electronic.
Check out the new EP ‘Stereo’ here, and be sure to check out more artists from the British Music Embassy’s recommendations – the best line-up of the festival! Stay here for more artists to come on our countdown from The British Music Embassy, and more!