Future Stars: Portugal. The Man (Atlantic)

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

Back in March I went to see the brilliant Jens Lekman in Portland, Oregon, and my music-loving Uber driver played me a track by his favourite local band. This could have been awkward, but I was actually impressed. The catchy song, which interpolates Please Mr. Postman, was Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man, and five months later it’s their breakthrough hit. Portugal. The Man have been together 13 years but I’m featuring them here because they’re poised to become much better known. They formed in Alaska, moved to Portland for music opportunities, and were embraced by the city that’s known for everything quirky and twee. They toured regularly, released music independently, and played festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. In 2010 they signed to Atlantic and mixed up their indie-pop sound by working with producers such as Danger Mouse and The Beastie Boys’ Mike D. New album Woodstock was released last month, preceded by Feel It Still in March (on the very day of that Jens Lekman gig, in fact – my driver was clearly into New Music Friday). So far it’s been no.1 on the Billboard Adult Alternative and Alternative Songs charts, and is currently moving up the Hot 100, while entering the top 20 on US iTunes. It has 43 million Soundcloud plays, almost double their next biggest song, which has been out four years. It will be pushed to US mainstream radio from tomorrow, and I think it could easily be 2017’s Pumped Up Kicks or Young Folks.

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