July 27, 2013
Listen To Portugal. The Man
Welcome to Bands You Should Be Listening To. My goal here is to bring an artist to your attention, whether you’ve heard of them or not, and convince you to give them a listen. My hope is that you end up finding some tunes that you love! Let’s get started.
Portugal. The Man is a psychedelic and indie rock band based out of Portland, Oregon. Though the founding members of the group, John Gourley and Zach Carothers, met way back in high school in Alaska, the group formally came together around 2005. Since then, they’ve been prolific, releasing six full-length studio efforts and three extended plays.
Purple Yellow Red & Blue, the lead single from the band’s latest album Evil Friends, is characteristic of much of Portugal’s storied history. The song’s jangly guitars and shimmering synths come together to create a psychedelic effect. But the best part about Purple Yellow Red & Blue is how the lead line is just so catchy; it sets them apart from most other psychedelic and alternative groups wallowing in their weirdness. That’s why Portugal. The Man’s best feature is their solid pop sensibility. And with veteran hit maker Danger Mouse producing this track, every aspect of the song is brought out to be accessible, bright, and textured. And if you’re still not sold on the psychedelic potential of this group, just check out the trippy music video for this track.
My favorite song from Portugal, though, is the final track on 2010’s American Ghetto, the song When The War Ends. It’s just a standard-issue band jam, with bright guitars and big plucky synthesizers. But again, and I keep coming back to this, the song is just so catchy. On top of that, it’s enveloping, and downright grin-inducing. American Ghetto is an extremely strange record, one that doesn’t feature that many outright-pop moments. But to close that LP with this song says a lot about Portugal. The Man, and how they value that pop side of themselves. Everything always boils down to a simple jam and some sing-alongs. And Portugal. The Man embodies that all too well.
They may vary from release to release, and some musical turns this band takes might not sit well with you. But the fluctuation these songs can go through at some points, it’d be crazy if you loved it all. Portugal is a band that is pushing all the right boundaries, and making all of the right progress, all while staying true to the roots of popular music and songwriting. If you like alternative music, psychedelic jams, or just fancy a good hook, you should give Portugal. The Man a listen. You’re bound to find something you like!
Thanks for reading! If you end up listening to the music from this article, let me know how you liked it! I always love to hear your opinions, even (and especially) if they differ from my own. You can tweet at me @RobinCopple1, or contact me through my email. Don’t be shy! See you next time. Keep listening to music!
Image Credit: Portugal. The Man