Vena Portae, Vena Portae (Humble Soul Records) ****

Vena Portae, Vena Portae (Humble Soul Records) ****

Vena Portae, Vena Portae (Humble Soul Records) ****

First published in CD reviews by

THE Vena Portae, should you have failed to keep up with your medical studies homework, is the short vein that carries blood into the liver.

Memorable band name, memorable music too, here it symbolises how people connect with places in wintry and hauntingly noir songs that surpass even band member Emily Barker’s latest album with her own group, The Red Clay Halo. Vena Portae is an alt-folk side project that deserves centre stage with the harmonious combination of Barker, the ex-pat Aussie singer-songwriter, Dom Coyote, the Anglo songwriter and Kneehigh theatre-maker, and Ruben Engzell, the Swedish producer and multi-instrumentalist.

Peter Moren, of Peter, Bjorn and John indie fame, pops in to re-mix Summer Kills, the signature song on a record that bears the chill of its recording sessions in a makeshift studio in snowed-in Molnbo. The band favour analogue equipment, banjos, pianos, guitar reverb and weirder instruments, a vintage sound for timeless reflections on love, loss and longing, that linger long and stir the blood.

 

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