Portico: Living Fields

review portico x1 cong

Portico used to be Portico Quartet and played jazz; we’ve got their third album and it’s rather beautiful mood music that combines jazz and electronica, with a splash of world.
Now they’re a trio and have not only dropped the Quartet but dropped the jazz and the world — this is pure electronica.
It’s a lovely, elegant record that brings to mind James Blake; it’s gentle, wistful music that treads a path between the purely ambient and the melodic. Three singers feature — Alt-J’s Joe Newman Jamie Woon and Jono McCleery — with the latter’s tracks probably the standouts, though Newman gives it familiarity.
The title track opens and is one of the more ambient tracks, McCleery offering the vocals, followed by the more melodic 101, a cracking track that features Newman on vocals, the two alternating for much of the album. Woon only appears on the closing track, Memory of Newness.
It’s a beautiful album, moody but tranquil and perfect for playing late at night. As well as James Blake, comparisons could be made with the likes of The xx.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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