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Album Review
Portals EP

Portals EP
by Watercolours


Review Date
10th December 2013
Reviewed by
Martyn Pepperell

With her new EP Portals, Auckland based singer/songwriter and sound explorer Watercolours (Chelsea Metcalf) and her collaborators (amongst others Justyn Pilbrow , Jeremy Toy, Jackson Hobbs, James Duncan and David Parker) marry dream pop aesthetics to field recordings. In the process, they essay sonically on a series of intuitive, immersive and intoxicating approaches to melody, rhythm, storytelling and harmony, as informed by amongst other things, Metcalf's experiences song-writing overseas, and the concept of portals (and more importantly, their ability to transport us elsewhere).

Escapist and evocative from the first bar, EP opening cut 'Last Night' kicks off with tap dance percussion submerged in shimmering melody and smooth voice, eventually exploding into a colossal drum groove that keeps on giving. As Portals progresses, Watercolours and her collaborators continue to exploit the power of interesting melodic/rhythmic juxtapositions.

Maintaining the energy of 'Last Night' on 'Sliders', they turn things down a touch for 'Danger Ocean' before bursting into huge, very recognisable form on past single 'Pazzida'. Entering a dense electronic space on 'Kyoto Train', the pulsing intensity generated slowly washes away on faded EP closer 'Under'. All in all, Portals is a considered showing from a curious and ever evolving creative talent.


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