Sometimes, you put the right people in the right room at the right time, and everything clicks. Sometimes they make magic . . . for a moment. And on the really rare occasion, it starts something big.
For Port Cities, the sum is definitely greater than the parts, no matter how great those parts are. They were three of the East Coast’s brightest rising stars, all hailed as formidable songwriters and performers, each with their own promising solo careers. But that was then. Now, each brings distinct strengths to bear to create a sound that’s different from anything that they’ve done on their own, or anything you’ve heard from the rich East Coast before. Breagh Mackinnon, Carleton Stone and Dylan Guthro are Port Cities.
You’ll know the difference the very first time you hear them. Striking songs, skillfully crafted arrangements, and best of all, three incredible singers that make the most exciting vocal blend in years. That’s the combination people are raving about and what you’ll find on their new, still unreleased debut.
With layered pop production and edgy guitar, synth and beats instrumentation, Port Cities hits home with all the spirit you’d expect from its members. But at the same time, the tradition of songcraft and folk music is behind each song. And no matter if it’s a raw rocker, or an acoustic based heartbreaker, the lead vocals, duets, and three part harmonies make each performance shine.
Breagh, Carleton and Dylan had had little or no contact until a fateful evening five years ago. In 2011 all three were invited to the annual Gordie Sampson Songcamp, where the Cape Breton native and Grammywinning songwriter brings together some of the best young writing talent in Nova Scotia for five days of collaboration and craft polishing. They connected immediately and their collaboration extended beyond Songcamp as they performed with each other and continued to write together. It was after a triplebilled tour that they realized how much they really enjoyed creating music and performing together.
In 2015, they took the plunge. The trio officially became a band, doing shows under the Port Cities name. Together they are creating something new and provocative, propelled by the strength of collaboration.
When sessions first began for their debut album, each writer brought in their own favorite songs. But as they progressed, they realized that their writing together was what would form the nucleus of Port Cities.
The debut album has a unique edge, as the trio takes a hard look at the intricacies of life and relationships, determined not to pull any punches or make commercial sacrifices.
The results of this partnership, and combined experience is nothing less than magical. Songs with guts, songs with hooks, and songs that surprise and inspire even the band themselves. And that final touch…that spark…that moment when all three voices kick in…and you know, undeniably, you’re listening to Port Cities.