Written by Willie Newland

Now this little folk/rock gem came across my desk a few months back but I have only just rediscovered it, and boy howdy am I happy I did.

Having toured extensively since 2007 when M. Ward named them his favourite new band on Pitchfork, Port O’Brien have played with such indie powerhouses as Modest Mouse, Bright Eyes and Rogue Wave. With the band splitting it’s time between the Bay Area and Alaska, where singer and guitarist Van Pierszalowski works on a fishing boat and vocalist and multi instrumentalist Cambria Goodwin is the head baker of the Larsen Bay bakery.

The product of this geographic duality is a beautifully raw yet delicate album. The contrast of the serenity of the natural environment and the tiring labour is easily recognisable as the source of inspiration for many of the songs on the album.

Stuck on a Boat tells of the frustration related to being so close yet so far away. Fisherman’s Son speaks of the frustrating, yet contented thought of destiny. Don’t Take My Advice captures the endless quest for settling, while remaining in awe of the entire world to explore. In Vino Veritas expresses the flurry of emotion caused by isolation, while emerged in substance.

The album is quite stunning, perfect for smoking joint on a rainy day.

Check ‘em out at http://www.myspace.com/portobrien

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