From Iceland — Track By Track: ‘Night Music’ By PORT

Track By Track: ‘Night Music’ By PORT

Published November 22, 2018

Track By Track: ‘Night Music’ By PORT
Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Matthew Eisman

Above all else, PORT seeks to dive deep into alienation and escapism. Their first EP, ‘Night Music,’ came out in September and proved without a shadow of a doubt that these boys—veterans of the Reykjavík metal scene—can serve up contemplative ambient music like the best of them. A mix of new-wave goth, synth-wave and alternative, their music is truly something new on the Icelandic scene. So if you’re a reformed goth, soundscape obsessée, or just someone who really likes deep vocals and drum machines, PORT is a must-listen.

We sat down with the composer of the group, Andri V. Haraldsson, to go through the album track by track.

1. As The Lights Fade

The intro was written and performed by Martijn de Groot, an incredible audio engineer and friend. He combined the sonic elements later heard on the EP into a nice introduction to the release.

2. The Bag

This was the first song that I wrote after I moved to Amsterdam a little over a year ago. As I was becoming familiar with the new setting in my day-to-day life, I started to explore new sonic possibilities in music. At the time, I was reading Bukowski’s ‘Factotum’ and the overall gritty tone of the book was a very big influence on the song.

“Music is more about the things that aren’t there rather than the things that are.”

3. Get It On

‘Get It On’ was written and recorded in one day. I decided to only allow myself two takes of each vocal track and, for better or worse, just stick with it. The song is a very nice example of the concepts I was working with at the time, repetition and minimalism being the main ones. I believe that music is all about the little things, and often more about the things that aren’t there rather than the things that are. There’s a single cymbal hit in the song, which essentially encapsulates these ideas.

4. The Night

When this song was written, I had been exposed to Amsterdam’s nightlife for a while. After getting familiar with the routine of it, I eventually realised that nightlife is always the same everywhere in the world. This feeling creeped its way into a reverb and synth filled session, which became this song.

5. Swans

This one came to be in the alienating state of having moved somewhere new and not knowing anyone. That feeling of necessary loneliness translated itself into a song filled with many layers of guitars, synths and harmonised vocals. For me, the song is like a nice blanket. It’s also one of the better mixes I had made at the time, so it holds a couple of personal milestones.

6. Late To The Party

With this song, I once again set some restrictions for myself. I wanted to write a song with no more than three chords and some vocals. The sessions spent on this one were very enjoyable. They were also creative as the vocals—which were never a big focus point before—really had to hold the song up. ‘Late To The Party’ is a nice way to end the EP as the core concepts of it, repetition and minimalism, are seen here in their most basic form.

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