"People Say" - Portugal. The Man
The best thing to emerge from Wasilla, Alaska that I can think of, Portugal. The Man is a band with an enviable capacity to produce rock music that seems to come to us from some timeless, nameless place--music that sounds at once familiar and freshly-minted, sharp but easy-going, inscrutable but friendly as can be.
One of the keys to this song's success, to my ears, is its matching up of a laid-back groove with steady, sinuous chordal movement. As the melody unfolds against a setting that pays homage to early '70s soul music, the underlying chords are changing pretty much every two beats, both in the verse and the chorus. The ear is continually engaged, and a sense of urgency conveyed, even as the underlying pace and vibe stays relatively relaxed.
"People Say" is the lead track off the band's latest album, The Satanic Satanist, scheduled for release next month on Equal Vision Records. Portugal. The Man was previously featured on Fingertips in October '08 and August '07, and as has been noted are a bit of a self-assured mystery, from their name to their impenetrable intentions. A quartet currently featuring five people in their band photos, they have been based in Portland for some unspecified amount of time. MP3 via Spinner. (Be forewarned that this one ends so abruptly it sounds like an editing mistake; could be on the album the song leads straight into the next track in an impossible-to-edit sort of way.)