Portugal. The Man
About Portugal. The Man
In the mid-2000s, when indie rock was just beginning to shuffle away from the bluesy garage riffs that defined the beginning of the decade, Portugal. The Man’s debut album, Waiter: “You Vultures!”, heralded the coming of a deeply weird alternative. Melding elements of psychedelia and classic rock with a dash of modern pop and an eagerness to experiment with song structure, the Portland-via-Alaska band forged a singular sound through the voices of co-founders and multi-instrumentalists John Gourley and Zachary Carothers. While all of their records retain their idiosyncratic signature, they’ve often switched sonic focus, due in part to a rotating cast of players and a willingness to explore every creative impulse. Their sophomore record, Church Mouth, leaned heavily on monstrous, fuzzed-up guitar; they brought in the synths and chilled out just a touch for American Ghetto; and 2013’s Evil Friends positively bursts with poppy psychedelia. They continued expanding in that direction with 2017’s Woodstock, a politically charged album that nonetheless spawned a hyper-danceable hit in “Feel It Still,” a Grammy-winning single with a groove that became omnipresent the world over.