After Keir Vine – who replaced Nick Mulvey in 2011 – left Portico Quartet in August 2014, the three remaining members – Duncan Bellamy, Milo Fitzpatrick, Jack Wyllie – renamed themselves Portico, after 10 years making music together. They say the rebirth is more than just a change in their line-up though and see new album ‘Living Fields’ as a kind of debut, moving into a new sphere after being signed by Ninja Tune.
They’ve joined up with old mate Joe Newman – better known as the frontman of Alt-J – to release ‘101’, the first track from the new album, which you can check out below. It’s a gorgeous fantasia of burbling organ synths, mechanic, scattering beats and Newman’s absorbing, idiosyncratic vocals. From the sounds of things, they’ve dropped the jazzier sound that led to a Mercury Prize nomination for the band’s debut album Knee-Deep In The North Sea in 2008 and headed into more electronic, processed sonics. The classic PQ sax and double bass have been replaced by something a lot more mechanic, muscular and propulsive. It’s still beguiling but in a different way.
I grew up listening to Portico and at Uni I introduced their music to a younger Alt-J. It’s such a pleasure to be collaborating on this new album and I’m looking forward to performing with them down the line
And even more exciting news: long-lost dubstep chill-head Jamie Woon will be on the album. It’ll be good to have him back. ‘Living Fields’ is out on April 6 on Ninja Tune and you can catch them live in Britain in April and Europe in May.