I always find it quite amusing when researching a new act before writing about them to find that in some small way the artists concerned have already connected with Breaking More Waves. In this case it seems that New Portals, a husband and wife two piece formed out of the ashes of Northern Irish alt-folk band The Jepettos, already follow the blog on Twitter. They may of course have already sent me information about their music via email, but if they did, I missed it, possibly because of a recent holiday, but more likely because I open only a fraction of everything I receive each day.
My route to hearing and writing about New Portals was a little more organic than just a regular PR email. In fact I first saw their name cropping up on Twitter via a number of music blogs with similar tastes to mine. Then there was a mention of Chvrches and Oh Wonder as comparisons Paul Lester's Guardian New Band Of The Week column. Now bearing in mind those two bands made my favourite records of 2013 and 2015 respectively, it would be contrary to not investigate further.
There's certainly a hint of Oh Wonder in the use of hand clicks and pretty electronic instrumentation in New Portal's tune Groove Boy and the simultaneous boy girl vocals used on the languidly epic Skyline also find synergy with the way that Anthony and Josephine do things. But before I get carried away and suggest that New Portals are just an Oh Wonder tribute band it's worth a full appraisal of the other songs they have online. Standing Over Here with its lyrics about still being "off your head from last night on the dance floor," is a cleverly neat pop tune and Do It Right is an elegant, near trippy modern groove. Neither sound anything like Oh Wonder. However they do share one further commonality - both duos are good - or even more than that. Take a listen below.
New Portals - Groove Boy (Video)
New Portals - Skyline