Interview: New Portals

New Portals are back!!

The Belfast group have recently released a new music video to accompany their latest single ‘Cages’.

In the clip we see a lone man soliciting a women walking the streets. After exchanging money, they park up and break into a truly heart-stopping dance routine against a late night city skyline. 

The song has received rave reviews from music critics.

The Guardian championed the track saying “the vocals clip the edge of bubblegum pop, but the synths are moodier than Del Boy’s watch.”

While Gigwise note that “the voices of Mike and Ruth Aicken emerge from a hypnotic rhythm and flow into a catchy chorus. A fascinating tune with elements of R&B, indie and hip hop”. 

We caught up with Ruth from the band to talk about style, performing live and what it’s like working with her husband…

It’s been a few months since we last met, can you remind our readers how New Portals began working together as a band?

Hey Celeb mix, thanks for having us.  We met at a gig when we were in our teens where our mutual friends were performing. We immediately built a relationship around playing guitars, singing, writing and playing covers too. I taught Mike to harmonise and he taught me chords. Growing up we were in bands together, our first band was a rock band called Raucous! We have amazing memories!

How would you describe your sound/style of music?

Indie, vocal heavy, electronic, catchy.

Who are you musical heroes and influences? 

We were big Radiohead fans. And loved the Sylvan Esso’s album when it released.

Do you find that those influences inspire the music your making, or do you like to create something totally different and unique?

We are pretty careful that we do our own thing, we have enough ideas of our own screaming to get out. 

Looking through your Facebook and Instagram, you’ve both got an incredible-individual sense of style, is that something you enjoy experimenting with? 

My sense of style really isn’t something I analyse too much. I know what I like and have learnt what suits me. I would say I keep things simple and in a really unpolished way. I don’t /can’t do ‘groomed’ even when I try, it feels weird.

Your new music video ‘Cage’ is incredible!! Can you tell us a little bit about the idea behind creating such an emotive video to accompany the song?

We had written the song with a ‘Human Trafficking’ angle so when we read the pitch for the video we liked the similarities.  Although we wanted the female to be represented to the audience that she is in control of her life and its the guy who was oppressed and we enjoyed the role reversal of that.

You must be happy with the end result?

Yeah we are super happy.

You both wrote ‘Cage’, can you tell us the what the songs about?

We got one of our kids a Guinea Pig and we were influenced by the caged animal vibes when starting the writing of this track. Then there was a flurry of human trafficking activism took place in our local area so the song developed from there. In a nutshell its just an angsty track about being captured and not being in control of your life.

You’re going to be touring this Autumn, what are you most looking forward to about life on the road?

We make good travellers and enjoy the unpredictability that comes with it. I really enjoy meeting new people so hopefully we can meet the friends we’ve made since making New Portals, especially through Instagram. I love experiencing anything ’new’ – new food, new streets, new music venues, new skies, new smells so touring is a fun way to scratch this itch.  And of course performing and the intensity that comes with that. Also really looking forward to reworking our set for different venues too!

What can fans expect from your live shows?

A big sound with tender moments. Dance songs and heartbreak songs. Our drummer is 6ft 5 so we are a a bit of a motley looking crew when we all get together, as mike and aren’t gifted in the height department so I would think we are interesting to look at!

After the tour, what have New Portals got planned for the rest of 2016 and into 2017?

Lets face it, we will probably release an album later in 2017 but we have a batch of chill out tracks coming soon that we will release as an EP.  We also write  songs for other projects so that keeps our songwriting muscles constantly working. We’d love to hop on tour and support other Electropop artists next year too.

Interview: New Portals 2

New Portals are on tour throughout October and November playing shows in Dublin, New York and Madrid.

Head over to Twitter to let us know your thoughts on the band and their new single and video ‘Cages’ @CelebMix


Written by Philip Logan

Twitter & IG: @philip_logan