9 Portugal The Man - In The Mountain In The Cloud

I never really gave Portugal The Man a fair shake. I'd always heard the name, and honestly intended to check them out. Then I stumbled upon their fantastic long form video for "Sleep Forever/Got It All" via Antiquiet. The video is spectacular, but the songs got stuck in my head. Then I bought the record, In The Mountain In The Cloud.

Man, this band is good. It reminds you of a lot of things, pop, folk, or psychedelia, but also manages to stay authentic and unique. The arrangements are grand, string and horn sections pop in frequently. Most of the songs have pre-choruses or b-sections that could be great songs themselves. John Gourley's lyrics are very good, and his vocals soar above an impeccable mix.

It's hard to pick a stand-out track, because they truly are all quite good, but I find myself listening to "Everything You See (Kids Count Hallelujahs)" and "Sleep Forever" most. In The Mountain In The Cloud has a lot of energy, but is never forceful. It has a nice flow and keeps your attention throughout. Portugal The Man sound like a band who are very comfortable doing what they do, and trying to outdo what they've done before.

Now I have to dig backwards through this band's catalog, which includes an album each year since 2006,
which is pretty cool.

Download: "Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)" - "Once Was One" - "Sleep Forever"