the lexicon

a writing portfolio by Alexandra Savvides

Port O’Brien – All We Could Do Was Sing

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Spending each summer in the Alaskan wilderness is bound to provide an interesting party story or two, but being inspired to pen an entire album around the experience is another thing altogether.

Port O’Brien is Van Pierszalowski and Cambria Goodwin who earn their daily keep in the warmer months by operating a fishing boat and bakery respectively. It’s not the most conventional origin for a band – and it shows. Wistful melodies of times spent at sea coupled with lyrics describing arctic loneliness make up the bulk of this album which deftly avoids a single genre definition.

Neo-folk troubadours will sit up and take notice of the exuberant rhythm of opening track I Woke Up Today – kitsch, cutesy, and wholly befitting of the album title. Other songs on the album resemble a more upbeat version of The Cranberries complete with Cambria’s strained, almost mournful vocal.

But it is Will You Be There? that truly evokes the longing of endless days at sea, with Van’s voice teetering on the edge of despair as he sings to his companion for salvation. Not every idea works, and for some the mix of acoustic lo-fi guitar and upbeat pop will sit uncomfortably, but when Port O’Brien get it right, the results are as bright as the Northern Lights.

Oyster Magazine


Written by lexstatic

May 30, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Album Reviews

Tagged with ,

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