Irish Band of the Week – New Portals

This week’s Irish Band of the Week are New Portals, a Belfast duo that are all about synth-pop with wholly unique lyricisms. Already, they’ve been compared to the likes of Goyte and Tom Misch but the pair are far more concerned on developing something fresh and enticing. The pair seem to absorb experiences and regurgitate them as songs. A prime example of this is their single, ‘Cage’, moving from almost shimmering instrumentations the pair usually display, this song has more tempered rage to it. Notably, there’s a stark parallels between the vocals and melody, as band member Mike Aicken has explained previously in interviews:

“We had been talking about human trafficking, prompted by a local news story about it happening in Belfast. We had also just bought a pet Guinea pig. Suddenly, while writing one day, we realised the parallel between the issues surrounding both. Taking a living creature away from its parents, against its will. The feeling of resentment that must develop, but also the dependence on someone else for all of your needs and the feeling of being expendable. It’s a messy set of mixed feelings that led us to the lines ‘I’m not yours to keep’, ‘you owe me, but you own me’, and ‘don’t tell me how to feel’. So it’s not a love song and it’s not an angsty Taylor Swift / Katy Perry theme – it’s something different hopefully!”

The beauty in their song-writing is that they’re not just randomly plucking these obscure thoughts out of the sky and forcing it upon their fans. Rather, they take a message, and rather than internalising it, they adapt it and make it something that is widely relatable and understood, whether it is the plight of human trafficking or buying a guinea pig.

The pair aren’t ones to sit on their laurels, already they’ve been announced to play alongside an array of wonderful acts, such as Hudson Taylor, exmagician, Arborist, and Ports at Moira Calling on the 10th of September.

If you can’t possibly wait until then, check them out on Spotify, particularly their track ‘Cage’


Elaine McDonald

comments to this article