The new video release from future pop duo New Portals is a shout for those at odds, the song’s infinitely readable, pop-chart worthy anxieties delivered as both stylish and endearing with an electronic edge. The band continue to showcase their artistic development, evolving and delving deeper into their unique sound in the latest video for ‘Cage’.
Influenced by local news coverage of human trafficking in Belfast and the act’s purchase of a new pet guinea pig, the song itself blends resentment and resignation in its sound and physical imagery. The importance of self-worth comes to the front in the songs lyricism “I’m not yours to keep– Don’t tell me how to feel.”
The video, produced by independent filmmakers Hilow, charts a driver (Thomas Hands) seemingly kerb-crawling, picking up a young woman (Alice Laidler) before stopping by the water outside a deserted park. A late-night scene set in urban Thameshead, the video cuts its dark undercurrents with elegance as the main action erupts into a postmodern dance routine.
Moments of grace and fluid motion are pressed up against disjointed body contact, giving the suggestion of natural movement. The routine is hypnotic, yet anxious as we get the impression it could collapse on itself at any moment. Subdued lighting and dramatic cinematography recalls the work Nicolas Winding Refn, the whole scene a perfect platform to capture the post-disco essence of New Portals.
Ruth and Mike Aicken’s vocals strike with rising soul, the former’s babydoll delivery giving the song a gripping, Cranes-esque ambience. Combined with the instrumental grandeur of a digitized Fleetwood Mac, the latest music video from the duo grips with a sonic intensity on all fronts. Striking in its production value, a work truly befitting the act’s strong foothold in the music scene.
With dedicated coverage by BBC Radio 1’s Phil Taggart and an upcoming performance at Moira Calling’s debut as a festival, New Portals are anything but caged as they continue on their upwards trajectory.