Personnel: Daphne Chen (violin, viola); Matt Fish (cello); Derek Brown (drums); Van Pierszalowski, Cambria Goodwin.
Audio Mixers: Aaron Espinoza; Jason Quever.
Photographer: Cambria Goodwin.
Arranger: Jason Borger.
Port O'Brien's 2007 debut helped established the nomadic collective in the upper tier of the wind-swept, Pacific Northwest folk scene. Like Fleet Foxes or Blitzen Trapper, the band's penchant for dreamy, reverb-heavy forays into the wilds of the rainy Northern California coastlines elicited numerous comparisons to indie folk demigods like Will Oldham and Jason Molina, and their blue collar day jobs, as crabbers, bakers and canners, brought an authenticity to the songs that most landlocked bands looking for the ocean in a cornfield with a conch shell lack. The group's 2009 effort, THREADBARE, follows in its predecessor's wet footsteps, with the death of a band member's sibling casting a long shadow over the album's sparsely delivered, yet emotionally rich sound. Bookended by a pair of oddly infectious laments, "High Without the Hope 3" and "High Without the Hope 72," THREADBARE is most compelling when it's operating at half speed. Standout cuts like "Next Season" and the brooding title cut feel distinctly of the moment, and while the more upbeat tracks on THREADBARE are competent and downright catchy, they're ultimately engulfed by the fog from which they were born.
Q (Magazine) (p.111) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Cambria Goodwin's ghost-like vocals are the perfect foil to Van Pierszalowski's anguished desperation..."
Paste (magazine) - "[T]he band stitch together threads of hearty Pacific Northwest indie, West Coast rock, and rustic creak-folk to create a loose, at times uneasy intimacy that allows for murky ambience as well as raucous sing-alongs..."