Heavy Stars – Portico

Heavy Stars’ elegant Portico album received the vinyl treatment a few weeks back, courtesy of El Gran E Records, and it was long overdue.

Heavy Stars (AKA Lacey Lewis) is known for making ethereal ambient pop, but Portico takes it to another level. From drifting astral soundscapes to dreamy minimalist variations on hip-hop, this is one intensely relaxing and original record that warrants replay after replay.

The Austin-based artist manipulates her vocalizations and spoken word segments, and processes them with a variety of effects all throughout this album, using her voice essentially as an instrument itself. This helps to make the music here feel like an actual extension of her body and soul. Songs like “Colors” ripple with Lewis’ reverberating vocals, which melt into pools of synths and vibraphone trills, creating the impression that she has truly become one with her art.

The majority of the tracks float at a soothingly meditative pace, but “Weird Ghost” revs up with a tight funky beat, giving it a mellow groove that is impossible not to nod along to. This rhythm allows Lewis to sing over it with a tight flow, and she does so with both a strutting confidence and a gentleness that it a total joy to listen to. If New age and hip-hop had a baby, it would be this track.

If you need a record as chill and dreamy as the oncoming winter weather, then grab your copy of this limited vinyl pressing here before it’s gone!


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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and Thewaster.com and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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