There’s something perfect about Portico, the debut EP from Wisconsin based Softly, Dear. The opening track—aptly titled “Portico”—is a 40 second intro that sets a melodic, nigh-dreamy tone. For those of us who don’t know, the word “portico” is in reference to Italian architecture, specifically the porch leading to the entrance of a building. That’s exactly what the opening track does for the EP of the same name, it brings you in to something larger, grander, more comfortable. This title is deliberate and, in it’s own way, almost genius. Like I said, there’s something perfect about Portico.
Portico, Despite Softly, Dear’s etymological pursuits, is not an EP of Italian folk music. “Better Times,” the first full track on the EP, is reminiscent of indie-chill acts like Darwin Deez, Local Natives, and Rogue Wave. It’s melodic, light, and hooky. It’s the kind of music that hipsters listen to while they drink Tecate on the beach (and I mean that in a good way). In fact, Softly, Dear’s sound is so relaxed that it’s surprising that their Wisconsin natives.
Wisconsin? Isn’t it always cold there? Maybe that’s why these songs, which constantly summon images of Summer and sand and swimming, are so earnest and heartfelt. After all, fondness makes the heart grow fonder.
To read the full review, and to listen to the band, go HERE.