Here's a new single that quickly rose to the top of my inbox. A four-piece from Norwich, Port Isla peddle a rather pleasing mix of Appalachian-inspired folksy harmonies and persuasive pop sensibility. Their single Sinking Ship has been released as a free download from Soundcloud, and is really rather special.
For the opening few bars I was a little worried that the band was just one guy and a loopstation trying to sound like KT Tunstall, but there is documentary evidence that this is a real band. And besides, once the chorus kicks in any similarities are quickly forgotten; this track has an energy and momentum that is all its own. The basic sound on offer here is one that's very in vogue these days, but Port Isla add enough of their own ideas to keep it fresh and intriguing. At the risk of making trite comparisons, imagine if Robin Pecknold actually liked music, had a decent drummer, and was more interested in rocking out than appearing fey and ethereal. That's Port Isla.
Aside from this single, there's some good stuff to be found on the band's Soundcloud page, and I'd imagine there's plenty more to come. So far they've had some local radio play and performed at a few festivals, but I wouldn't be surprised if Port Isla get much bigger much faster in 2013.