‘Lions And Butterflies’ by The Portraits - thoughtful harmonies, sensitive instrumentation, subtle melodies

(August 31, 2015)

Calling themselves an ‘independent alternative folk band’ The Portraits, release their 'home-made' album ‘Lions And Butterflies’ on 2nd October 2015. Apparently recorded in vans, backstage at gigs, on a ferry, laptops and lions-and-butterflies-tunecore-cover-1600-x-1600-pixelsiPhones with the only studio time being the final mastering. So what do you get ‘Lions And Butterflies’? A diverse collection of individually shaped songs ranging across observations both personal and public to examine the extent of regret, the persistence of memory, changing direction and caring enough to make a difference; you also get thoughtful harmonies wound around sensitive instrumentation and subtle melodies.

For those that don’t know them, The Portraits are husband and wife duo, Lorraine Reilly Millingtonand Jeremy Millingtonwho maintain: “Our music takes us on the road constantly, so it made sense for us to record our album on the move. Beautiful strings reverberate with the sounds of our lives, from birds outside the window, to door bells - you have to listen closely, but they are there. The new album is a heartfelt musical snapshot of who we are.”

Ultimately, this is an album of hope. Although building that most enduring human force involves The Portraits hitting out with lyrics that expose some our race’s more undesirable traits - even so ‘Lions And Butterflies’ engenders a feeling of optimism and expectation. I liked this album and you will too – prime tracks: ‘Walls of Silence’, ‘Fairy Lights’, ‘The Rest of Time’ and ‘Small But Strong’.

 ‘Lions And Butterflies’ features Lorraine Reilly Millington (vocals, guitar, percussion) Jeremy Millington (vocals, piano, percussion, synthesizer) with help across selected tracks from Vincent Imbert (violin, vocals) Kelly Jakubowski (violin) Astrid Baty (cello, vocals) Pete Tapner (bass guitar) David Naylor (tabla) Clara and Euan Millington (additional vocals) and ‘2000 voices’ (additional vocals).


Review: Charlie Elland

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