After their debut album “Puls” in 2013, PORT NOIR released the “Neon” digital EP in 2015 marking one of the first releases by Anders Fridén’s label Razzia Notes and Century Media Records, who kicked off their cooperation earlier in 2015. The four songs sported influences ranging from Kraftwerk to Johnny Cash, Cult of Luna to Muse, Rage Against The Machine to 80s pop music mounting in dark, fuzzy, electronica-enriched rock songs further showing the band’s skill in crafting diverse and daring sonic art. But now, it is time to present the Swedes’ second full-length opus, “Any Way The Wind Carries”, containing twelve brand-new tracks, which clearly profit from the experimental side unveiled on “Neon”.
“Ever since the release of “Puls”, we’ve been writing and recording new material, trying to develop the current sound and find new ways to express our feelings via music. We really tried hard to find the perfect arrangements for the songs, in length, in melodies, harmonies and instruments. Everything. What we tried the most was to get to the point in our songs more quickly, so the listeners get a point of what they’re listening to before getting bored of a 2 minute long intro. We also opened our doors to synthesizers this time. During the process of writing material for the album, we were heavily inspired by 80’s film music and other electronic music. We tried to integrate that vibe into our compositions, and you’ll hear some of that on the album.”
But let’s hit the rewind button first, and start at the beginning: In November 2011, Andreas “AW” Wiberg (drums), Love Andersson (vocals, guitar), and Andreas Hollstrand (guitar, backing vocals) decided to meet up in a rehearsal room in their hometown Södertälje, outside of Stockholm, Sweden. They were all tired of playing music with people lacking the same level of ambition and wanted to create something new and fresh. Something beyond musical boundaries and invisible frames.
“If we were to pick a specific genre or sub-genre people might get a twisted picture of what we’re playing. We’re experimenting with different kinds of genres all the time, most of it can be categorized within “rock” but we want others to decide what they think they’re listening to, whether it’s metal, rock, funk, soul or any other genre for that matter. We always keep our doors open to try something new, and that’s been our vision since day one.”
The first result, created during this very first meeting was the galvanic “Sun dè Man”, released accompanied with a music video via the internet, proudly and confidingly saying: “Hello, here we are!” Little did they know by then, who would be among the first people to applaud!
Just a week later, an e-mail from Anders Fridén, singer of Sweden’s biggest metal export In Flames and main man behind the label Razzia Notes, hit the band’s inbox, where he commented on “Sun dè Man” as being one of the greatest songs he had heard in a very long time and a few weeks later the band was signed to Razzia Notes.
In 2012, PORT NOIR started recording “Puls” at Dugout Studios in Uppsala together with Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, In Flames, Devin Townsend, Soilwork etc), the single “Tide” resulted in airplay on Swedish national radio, and “Puls” was released in September 2013 to massive media acclaim including a nomination for the “Breakthrough of the Year” award at the Bandit Rock Awards. Since their formation, PORT NOIR worked hard to establish themselves on the live circuit by supporting In Flames, Karnivool, and others, playing Metaltown Festival in Gothenburg (Slipknot, Korn, Ghost, Meshuggah etc), headlining shows all over Sweden plus two European tours as well as turning heads at the 2015 edition of Euroblast festival in Germany. Their 2015 single “Neon”, which was
promoted by a highly entertaining video clip, was chosen “Song of the Week” at Swedish public radio P4 Stockholm, and competed among other tracks for the prestigious title “Song of the Year”.
With recording duties again being handled by Daniel Bergstrand, yet at a small mountain village in southern Spain instead of their native Sweden, PORT NOIR’s new album “Any Way the Wind Carries” is another bold statement of a band that defies pigeonholing in favour of embracing a vast array of influences and distilling these into smartly arranged, concise songs. Emotive and dramatic hooks, grooving and heavy riffing, atmospheric synths reminiscent of classic 80’s flicks, and Andersson’s passionate vocals make songs like the title-track, “Earth”, “Onyx”, “Diamond” or “Come What May” intense and inventive rock tracks that never lose a sense of the eerie.
PORT NOIR aim to tour on time with the album release and you can definitely expect to hear and see more of these guys in the future. They know exactly where they are, and where they’re headed. This is just the beginning!