We’re hosting an exclusive premiere of the band’s new single before their debut album drops tomorrow. Scroll down to listen!
Take a walk through a lush west coast forest with Porteau’s new single “Moon Maidens.” The track blends folkloric tradition with celestial soundscapes, “transporting listeners to a world of pragmatic mysticism.” In anticipation of their debut album Water’s Gate, which drops tomorrow, “Moon Maidens” provides an intimate showcase of the project’s haunting vocals and dreamy melodies.
Porteau is the shared project of Victoria Williams and Craig Stevenson. Despite being a longstanding couple, this is the first time the two have made music together. The collaboration came to light after Victoria became enchanted with the Gustav Doré painting Andromeda. Enraptured by the painting’s emotion, she asked Craig to help her create music that conveyed the “cold, urgent, and liberating” feelings enclosed in the paint. The result of this is their single “Penelope,” which is also featured on the album.
Never wanting to force collaboration, the two wrote independently while finishing up music school. When the time came to implement a vision together, the couple tells me that “[the] pieces of musical ideas, lyrics, and structures sort of fell together in [an] extremely natural [way].” Water’s Gate is the first experiment in bringing these instinctive ideas together.
“Moon Maidens” serves as the final track on the album as well the most stripped down. The song asks listeners to succumb to the world around them, with lyrics such as “I am bound for the future / Unbounded by the past.” This feeling is reflected in the relationship between the enchanting vocals and melodic layering of guitar. Craig tells us that this dream-like intimacy was originally achieved by improvising guitar melodies to play off the vocals. While the rest of the album layers an expansive range of sound, “Moon Maidens” echoes the acoustic routes of the duo’s beginning.
In classic Vancouver fashion, “Moon Maidens” came to life in Montreal. Victoria began writing the lyrics for the track while feeling particularly homesick for the West Coast. Longing to be “surrounded by the ocean and mountains… where [she is] most at peace,” the artist envisioned the Sea to Sky highway; and specifically Porteau Cove, which serves as inspiration for the band’s name. “Moon Maidens” deals with the theme of liberation, which Victoria connects to that feeling of being unbound in nature. Lyrically, the single draws on imagery of the unceded Coast Salish territory to evoke this. Using imagery of ascending into the night sky, Victoria explores “the feeling of harmony in the natural world that signifies a new chapter in one’s life.”
So, what can we expect from the rest of the album? “Sonically,” Craig says, “[Waters Gate] serves as an opportunity to experiment in the studio.” Using a range of sounds and instruments built up from the duo’s acoustic beginning, we can expect diverse and transcendent sounds throughout. While “Moon Maidens” focuses on turning outward into the unbound, the rest of the album focuses on turning inward. Listeners can expect to hear striking vocals that draw heavily on folklore’s sounds in combination with elegant, ethereal instrumental tones. “Moon Maidens” is a window into a debut album that is sure to be filled with West Coast imagery, transporting melodies and layered instrumental diversity.
Listen to our exclusive preview of “Moon Maidens” here:
Porteau release Water’s Gate at the Fox Cabaret, this Friday March 15th — tickets available here.