Sounds Like: Portishead high on bluegrass
Why You Should Care: Because Portishead hasn’t done much in five years, and Beams deserves some attention.
A fourth Portishead record has been in the works since 2008, when their third album, the ingeniously titled Third, was released. There’s not much reason to think it’s coming anytime soon; in a 2011 interview, Portishead member Geoff Barrow said he would begin work on a new album in early 2012, which in his words “could mean another fucking 10 years” before the album was actually released.
But the band manages to stay in the public eye; because of their talent, rare but stellar live shows, and, more recently, Barrow’s accusation that R&B act The Weeknd sampled a Portishead tune without asking.
While Barrow doesn’t like sampling, he seems to have less of a problem with bands playing his songs, and numerous bands have put out high quality covers since the band released their stellar first album, Dummy. Toronto’s Beams are the latest, with their alt-country take on Dummy’s “Glory Box.” Beams puts a Be Good Tanyas-esque spin on the original, adding a banjo, and making it sound eerily like something that might be on Anthology of American Folk Music.