Mercury Prize-nominated band Portico Quartet have come through with a brand new album titled Memory Streams. It’s their fifth studio album, with the band continuing to show maturity and tremendous creativity with their compositions.
The dark and ambient opener “With, Beside, Against” really sets the tone for the whole album, with a moody and intense composition that builds over time. “Signals in the Dusk” brings that intensity further with synths and drum beats. The subtle horns throughout give this uneasy yet beautiful tone to the record, but the frantic, electronic and minimal beat of this track in particular is what keeps me on edge. The gorgeous “Ways of Seeing” features colourful synths and what sounds like a flute melody that floats on top of the rhythmic beat. “Offset” is another jazz-inspired track with intense horn sections and this grand, building energy that builds and echoes as it explodes near the end. It’s a breathtaking piece of music, something that can be said on the heartwarming “Dissident Gardens.” To me this track feels warm, with horns and a heavy energy from its rhythm. The electronic closer “Immediately Visible” is a wonderful way to close the album, with infectious rhythms that just build and build, providing for a meditative, reflective listening experience. I thoroughly enjoyed this whole album, and shows Portico Quartet at their most electronic and experimental to date.
Listen to Portico Quartet’s new project Memory Streams below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support! Released via Gondwana Records.