All the way from Belfast you have the delightful duo New Portals. Recently they have dropped their brand new single which is the title track of the upcoming EP. Stereo was a hypnotic synth pop jam aided by captivating lyrics and sugary sweet vocals from front woman Ruth Aicken. The other half of New Portals is Mike Aicken who provides the entrancing beats.
New Portals also received support from Radio 1 with Phil Taggart and Huw Stephens becoming big champions of the band. They’ve made a host of playlists at Spotify, receive regular in-store rotation at a number of leading UK high street brands and recently featured in the soundtrack for feature film She Has A Name with their songs Skyline, Cage and Forget You Forget Me.
It was back in 2015 when New Portals emerged with the debut single Do It Right. Since then they’ve released a handful of singles independently and these being Groove Boy, Skyline, Stay Here Tonight, Cage, WinterSkin and Stereo. Each of these tunes were so blissful.
10th March sees New Portals drop the Stereo EP and I’ve been fortunate to preview this dreamy release. Consisting of 5 tantalising tracks, Stereo was drenched with plenty of 80’s synth pop vibes resulting in something truly majestical. Actually just from listening I can make comparisons with both Oh Wonder and Say Lou Lou.
Stereo: Things opened up with the title track. Stereo was an hypnotic synth pop explosion aided by lucious lyrics and Ruth’s candy coated vocal tones. New Portals had this to say about this spectacular single and the actual music video “We’ve gone more ‘pop’ than usual for this one – we’re experimenting. It’s a nostalgic reflection on love, and whether or not it’s worth it. Originally, we wrote it for a teenager to sing – then decided that we’ll just keep pretending to be teenagers ourselves. The video is a simple visual interpretation of high school love”. Anyhow this tune was an utter gem and those tasty lyrics were extremely contagious. New Portals do really have the knack for writing killer pop songs.
Also Stereo was produced by Prides’s very own Lewis Gardiner.
Sunshine: This chilled out tune was literally like a breath of fresh air. Ruth’s vocals were sublime and the harmonies were incredibly tight. Now this number was the perfect piece of electronica leaving me in a daze in the process.
Move So Slow: I literally adored this tune, it is by far my favourite from the Stereo EP. My reasons being that Move So Slow is an upbeat jam aided by a sassy vocal delivery and lyrics which packed a punch.
Fill Me Up: After the sassy Move So Slow things were then taken down a notch. Fill Me Up was a dreamy 80’s synth pop cut. Everything about this tune was spot on, firstly mesmerising Fill Me Up was pleasant on my ear and the melody was rather relaxing. Secondly this had been perfectly written with exquisite lyrics which left me hooked, plus Aicken’s vocals were impeccable.
Groove Boy: This EP then came to an end with this tasty tune. Now Groove Boy was a fresh and funky number which can quite easily have you grooving on the spot. This is where the comparisons with Oh Wonder come to the forefront. Both Ruth’s and Mike’s vocals meshed together creating something rather mind blowing. On the whole this number was a slice of heaven which had been crafted to perfection.