Port O'Brien have been building a well deserved word-of-mouth buzz over the last couple of years. Their latest full length, Threadbare, feels like their effort to make a career of this music thing. They have transcended their back story – summers working on a fishing boat in Alaska (Van Pierszalowski) and working a day job as a baker (Cambria Goodwin) – to become a band starting to meet their promise.
The album starts off with a stunner, and as Cambria takes lead vocals on "High without the Hope 3", her vocal inflection takes you back to the old Cat Power you love. This is a sparse opener that leads beautifully into "My Will is Good", a folk number with just the right flourishes of orchestration. This is Port O'Brien's greatest strength. They write folk music that never gets boring, and add to it without it becoming overwrought. The drumming on the record is exceptional, as it is just the right tone for each track. Cello and other stringed instruments float in and out, making their presence felt without showing off.
Threadbare is a record that has a unique aura. While all of the sounds on the record are ones you've heard before, there is an intangible appeal to this record that you just can't shake.
Recommended If You Like:
Okkervil River, early Cat Power, M. Ward
a stocking cap.
a cold breeze across your face.
Listen to When:
it just starts to get cold outside, but isn't quite winter yet.
Vinyl the Cat says:
I could just curl up and go to sleep in this record.
Port O'Brien - Oslo Campfire
Port O'Brien - Tree Bones