In 2013, Portgual. The Man broke out with the critically and commercially successful “Evil Friends.” Still riding high three years ago, the Portland psych pop outfit began work on the followup to that record with Mike D of The Beastie Boys. Things seemed to be moving along at a steady pace, and by 2015, there were even occasional teases on social media from the band that included the new double album’s name, “Gloomin + Doomin.”
Portugal. The Man’s newest album, “Woodstock,” is not that record.
A little over a year ago, the band abruptly mothballed the unfinished recordings that made up “Gloomin + Doomin” in favor of a new project loosely inspired by the protest music that made up the rock festivals of the late 1960s. Like the actual Woodstock Festival itself, the resulting album is overly ambitious, eclectic, sometimes uneven, and filled with political overtones. And ultimately, it’s a triumphant piece of unabashed pop music.
Portgual. The Man recently joined us to perform songs from “Woodstock” in a stripped-down acoustic session at the OPB studios in Portland (as well as an old favorite, “So American”). They also chatted with opbmusic’s JT Griffith about their influences and the new record’s winding origin story.