[€10 for CD or Download // https://portia.bandcamp.com/album/epicotyl]
This is my first time hearing Portia Winters but for once I don't feel badly about that because this is said to be her debut album. What you have to understand about "epicotyl" is that it's a pop album at its heart but the pop qualities of it are then chopped up and screwed. It's that beauty of Polly Scattergood mixed with something that Bjork only wishes she could create.
Through strings, beeps, electro blips and a twisted water dripping sound comes some of the most delicate and wonderful vocals you will ever hear. You're going to need to listen to this one multiple times to truly experience it because it is just that complex. Though there is quite a bit of audio manipulation, especially with the vocals, a song such as "There My Rest" seems to go untouched and is more reserved, almost as if a lullaby.
A song like "Revolution" though can come out much louder, closer to something electronic and mechanical-- an anthem if there was one on this album. Phil Collins drums and vocal loops do come into play though maybe not literally. It's funny because on a song like "I Won't Be There" it seems as if there are no instruments until steel sounding drums kick in, yet on "Now Go Down" it feels like it will be strictly instrumental with something that sounds like spoons. That is until the vocals kick in and overpower everything else in the world.
This is one of those albums that you're going to listen to and think about afterwards because you knew that these things were possible with music because they've been done before but they've never been done this way. Certain elements might not be touched upon as much as others previously but this is a pure work of genius and one of the best albums I have heard in a very long time.