Portishead’s third album Third deserves to chart high on various end of years lists, though only time (and more lists) will tell. If such a category exists, the Bristol trio should also receive comeback of the year. If you’ve listened to Third, seen them live, or watched the videos for “Machine Gun” or “The Rip,” you know this. On the visual front, “Machine Gun”‘s clip featured an icy live approach, while “The Rip” went for surreal animation. Longtime collaborator John Minton’s “Magic Doors” combines a bit of both. You don’t get straight up band footage, but you will spot Beth looking concerned along with a busy overlay created by dusky sail boats, a Warholian banana, someone chopping a cucumber, words highlighted from the lyrics (“desire,” “wrong”), cities, feet, cards, fireworks, a frying egg, etc. It’ll take more than a few viewings to piece it all together into some sort of narrative.
The general aesthetic reminds me of the cover of Sonic Youth’s Sister.
“Magic Doors,” Third’s third single, is out 12/15 via Island Records. You’ll be able to get it in two formats: A 12″ with etched vinyl and the less sexy digital bundle that includes three tracks — “Silence”, “Threads” and “Mysterons” — recorded during Portishead’s great performance at this past Coachella.
Third is out via Island.