I had '101' on my 'To Listen' list for over a month, and to be honest, I'm pretty mad that I didn't make time for it sooner. Portico, a name that I somewhat recognised but was far from familiar with, wasn't enough to draw me in without any prior knowledge of the band or their sound, instead being enticed by guest vocalist Joe Newman, and the constant allure of anything to do with Alt-J.
'101' is a brooding number that first sounds of Wild Beasts with its echoing synths, but once the impeding drums break through, it's given a life of its own by Newman's signature vocals and Portico's tight instrumentation and production. I was infatuated from my very first play, which came on Wednesday morning, and by some cosmic coincidence, a second track featuring Newman was released later that day.
'Atacama', from the forthcoming Living Fields, may not have immediately excited me as much as the first track, pleads "Go forward, and be fearless" and by the time Newman laments "And to know I truly lost you" a little piece of my heart was breaking. Named after the most arid desert in the world, this track is a slow burn, echoing within me as much when it had finished playing as it did when I quickly hit the replay button.
Living Fields is out via Ninjatune on 30th March, and I, for one, am very excited.