Artist: The Portraits

Album: Counterbalance

Label: Sensorypulse Records

OUT NOW

Rating: 4/5

It has been a busy year of music making for The Portraits and this week they return with their new album Counterbalance.

Lorraine Reilly and Jeremy Millington have brought their blend of upbeat folk music to this new collection of tracks and it further cements them as great musicians in this genre.

Open Doors is the opening track on the album and is about those who are left behind when love ones depart.

And while the subject matter is quite melancholy Open Doors is an upbeat track that is really brought to life by the Irish music elements that beat throughout it.

Reilly is on great form vocally as she moves effortlessly between strong and delicate and is beautifully by the array of instruments that feature on the track.

But Counterbalance is also an album with a message and that is made very clear with Backyard - which is about trying to silence Julian Assange.

This is an incredibly powerful track as The Portraits sing about trying to silence people, lies and corruption.

Reilly and Millington’s vocals complement each other beautifully and, once again, they are supported by incredibly harmonic music.

They continue to deliver their opinions in Little Flame as this is a track about the battles women face all over the world.

Guitars and strings are just two of the instruments that feature on the track and the violin solo in the middle of the track really is beautiful.

The music that they create really does wash over you as it is so rhythmical that it just draws the listener in.

Tracks like Shoot Up Dreams looks at religion while Daisy Chain looks at the power of the military.

Counterbalance is an incredibly topical record where The Portraits are not afraid to voice their opinions and views - which is quite refreshing.

But they do so in an upbeat and rather warm matter as the backing music stop the messages they deliver from being too in your face.

Counterbalance is an album that you can listen to and really take note of what Reilly and Millington are singing about or you can just sit back and listen to a collection of fantastically composed tracks.

The Portraits - Counterbalance is out now

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw


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