The Duo Explains: New Portals - 'Skyline' (Video)

Who:  Belfast alt-pop duo New Portals are Mike & Ruth Aicken.

About The Track:  Featuring heavenly harmonies and airy r&b infused pop sensibilities, 'Skyline' takes the listener on expansive synthpop highs. The duo both have folky textures to their vocal tones which add to the beguiling nature of the track. Rolling drums and gentle keys help to keep the piece rhythmic and balanced while lofty synths carry the music outside the constraints of the song's structure and distort the listener's sense of reality.

The Duo Explains:

1.Which locations were used in the filming for 'Skyline’?

Mike NP: It was filmed in New York City- on the streets of Manhattan, Central Park, a rooftop in Brooklyn, a ferry from Williamsburg and the subway somewhere close to the Williamsburg bridge where the J & Z lines run in parallel. Is that too specific?

2. The video is very arty and dreamy, yet very natural. Why did you chose to film in the way you did?
Mike NP: Firstly- thanks! The video probably feels natural as we filmed it ourselves as we travelled back-and-forth between Brooklyn and Manhattan. We had the song written and demo’d but at that time we hadn’t yet worked on it in the studio. Nothing in the video was planned, we were just open to opportunities to capture something of being in a big city and pulled out our iPhones and got filming whenever the chance arose. It wasn’t difficult as New York is one of the most iconic cities there is.

3.Tell us about the themes/ imagery used?
Mike NP: It’s really shot on the go with a ‘home video’ vibe. Then when I edited it, we felt it needed messed up a little so we got to dirtying it up with some effects, overlays and playing with slowing down and speeding up the footage to emphasise the more dramatic moments in the track.

4. Any behind the scenes stories?
Mike NP: One springs to mind! In the rooftop scene where Ruth is on my (Mike) back and we’re spinning around, and Ruth’s filming on her iPhone, I spent the whole time telling her off for filming in portrait instead of landscape. Maybe I was being pedantic… so, if you can lip-read, you’ll be able to ‘hear’ exactly what I’m saying during that scene as we didn’t have time to reshoot it!

5. How does the mood of the song synchronise or contrast with the mood in the clips used in the video?

Mike NP: When we wrote the song we really imagined it being about someone wanting to get out of the city for a break from all that it entails, so we wanted the video to give a feeling of release and escapism. In the video we wanted to blend the bustling business backdrop of Manhattan with the potential solitude and release of havens such as Central Park and also the expansive rooftops New Yorkers enjoy- something we don’t get much of back home.

Interview by Karla Harris