“We always end up seeing our albums as small films. And Portico: would definitely be our little space saga.” (Philip Ekström)
It’s a perfect mix of related styles, there’s a little jangle and synth pop amongst the seven track collection. All with a pop sensibility that the Swedes do like no other. Lead tracks ‘Silence Is A Gun‘ and ‘Naive Dream‘ pointed towards something special and the rest of the EP cuts don’t disappoint. ‘Ritual Mind’ is a beautiful tune with dazzling synth work and guitars interweaving. While ‘Your Place’ sounds like early Wild Nothing, simple but effortlessly catchy. And oddly enough, despite the masses of reverb and melancholy vocals, ‘Portico’ isn’t a downer. The Mary Onettes have written an EP that deserves to be heard, these are brilliantly crafted songs.
(sounds better with reverb)
Leading off with “Silence is a Gun” a dreamy, mellow, hazy yet purposeful track seems to be prepping us for our little space journey. In “Naïve Dream” it seems like we have lift off. While equally hazy and dreamy, as well as frequent references to silence, we have a much more confident guitar notes and blissful vocals. Towards the end of the song we get a futuristic sounding guitar fade out and we are into the great unknown and there is no turning back. “Ritual Mind” has for lack of a better term, spaced out vocals with very cool deep, plunging production elements, providing an all-around exploratory vibe. “Everything Everything” seems to be the high point of the album, being more up tempo than the previous songs with little snippets of some broadcast coming in and out, like some far off signal. Here we have the vocals taking a backseat with guitars piloting and motivated drums riding shotgun. “Your Place” keeps our tempo up with some outstanding drum progressions and some pretty neat layering. In a normal arc, we would expect to be coming back down to Earth sometime soon, but that isn’t the case with Portico:. While we are definitely nearing the end of our journey, “Bells for Stranger” doesn’t seem to be bringing us closer. While the lyrics suggest we are “Closer than ever before,” instead, it seems as if we are drifting away with a much slower song. We are again provided with the silence theme and words cut out with about a minute left in the song and opt for a futuristic fade out. This fade rolls right into “Portico: 2014” a wordless song that progresses this notion of drifting away in space. Deliberate piano keys are the only thing anchoring us, which ultimately cuts into, you guessed it, silence.
(surviving the golden age)