Saturday, May 24, 2008

If you're diggin' Portishead...

By now I'm sure you've heard that Portishead finally got around to releasing their fourth album (ironically titled Third) after a ten year hiatus last month. It appeared just as unexpectedly as their disappearance so long ago, but listening to the album one believes that they never really went away. It's got that distinctive discomforting sadness permeating it, but it also feels new in a way that's hard to put a finger on. It's hard to keep your balance while listening to it, with unpredictable shifts occurring from track to track as well as within tracks (in a Fiery Furnaces sort of way).

So if you're diggin' Portishead, I've got another band to send your way: The Atomica Project. TAP is headed up by a female vocalist, Lauren Cheatham, with a voice much like Beth Gibbon's, perhaps a little warmer. They've also got that feeling of cinematic largeness which sometimes spreads wide behind her vocals and at other times dwindles down to a dark note. Taken as a whole, the album (it's titled Grayscale and it's the band's second) feels like the positive inverse of Third. It still has its melancholy moments of tender expression, but in general it employs some brighter instrumental components that lighten it up somewhat.

Both albums are available now, so pick them up and listen to your dark heart's content.

Visit their website, their label Positron! Records, and become their friend on MySpace.

Visit their website, their label Island Records, and become their friend on MySpace.



Stefanie said...

Aaahh! I am loving the new Portishead album. My boyfriend purchased it on LP for me and the sound quality is amazing. I read a pretty great and in-depth article about them (minus Beth Gibbons' input as she doesn't interview anymore) in the new Paste. Pick it up! I'm looking forward to checking out this other band, too. Maybe their shows will be a bit more accessible than Portishead's...that is to say, accessible at all. :)

Anonymous said...

One of their first three albums was a live album. So it is their third album. :) Just sayin'!

Sean said...

Yea, I hear ya. I would consider the live one an album since it was an official label release but I could see the flip side of the coin as well.

Stefanie said...

Yeah, actually I have "Live: Roseland NYC." They're just as amazing and enigmatic live...In fact, I think I'm getting ready to purchase the DVD version of it. It should be fantastic.