Cast your brain back to 2013. Things were pretty sweet: Obama was hunkering down for his second term; Alaska-founded, Portland-based band Portugal. The Man released their seventh LP, the Danger Mouse-produced Evil Friends, a compendium of psych-pop, with a burnished retro sheen, some debauched bass grooves, and occasionally, tunes topped off with a nimble falsetto. Once touring for this record was done and dusted singer John Gourley and co. set about working on songs for their eighth LP. Mooted to be called Gloomin + Doomin, the months stretched into years, and instead of these compositions coming together with a sense of clarity and cohesion, increasingly Gourley felt this brace of songs were at odds with one another.
Conflicted, Gourley returned to his roots of Wasilla, Alaska, and spent some time with his dad. Turns out this period with his straight talking pop gave Gourley the kick up the butt he needed: he scrapped everything, went back to the drawing board. Newly inspired and with the help of producers they've worked with before (John Hill, Danger Mouse, Casey Bates), and the additional skills of Mike D, P.TM came up with their eighth album Woodstock, scheduled to drop later this year.
In part, Gourley fire was ignited by finding his dad's ticket stub for the original festival, which lead him down a rabbit hole that saw him contemplating the socially conscious artists of that era. In looking at the chaos around him today, he found himself trying to make sense of it all through this new brace of songs. Woodstock is a rallying cry, if you will, its intentions made known by this first single out of the gates, the darkly groovy "Feel It Still," with it's big brass flourishes, and a slinking bass.
Below is the premiere of said video, but it's not just any old video: this short falls in line with the message of the song and the overall ethos the LP. Directed by Ian Schwartz at Prettybird, viewers are tasked with keeping their eyes peeled for "hidden Easter eggs" designed to help #theresistance movement. But what does that actually mean? Well, while you're watching Gourley stroll through a surreal post-apocalyptic world, the idea is that you click on as many of these encrypted "Easter eggs" as you can see (for instance a couple sexing up in a car is a click through for Planned Parenthood). Each time you click a hidden egg in the right hand corner of the video a number goes up. By the end, if you've spied all the clues, you'll have 30 so called "tools for resistance," revealed when you click on the clenched fist—everything from a direct dial to the White House, to a video explaining the legal rights of protestors to custom-designed protest posters, and stencil kits for resistance graffiti.
"We worked with so many rad people on this album, but ended up with just the four of us in a basement at 4 AM trying to say something that mattered," explains Gourley. "Trying to write music that would help people feel they're not alone, even if they're angry or feeling lost. This video is our way of saying that we're all in this together."
Created in conjunction by creative agency Wieden+Kennedy, creative director Jason Kreher noted: "We loved the idea of presenting the apathetic, decadent rebel just for kicks from the song against a hidden message of resistance." Ostensibly, this "is a real, practical laundry list of ways you can get out there and fight injustice."
Portugal. The Man Tour Dates:
03/09 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House
03/10 – Stateline, NV @ Harrah's Tahoe South Shore Room
03/11 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
03/13 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
03/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Club Bahia
03/16 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park
03/17 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
03/18 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre
03/19 – Aspen, CO @ Belly Up Aspen
03/21 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
03/22 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
03/23 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly's
03/24 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
03/25 – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Detroit
03/27 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small's Theatre
03/28 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
03/30 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
03/31 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
04/01 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
04/02 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Clu
04/04 – Richmond, VA @ The National
04/06 – Charleston, SC @ Charleston Music Hall
04/07 – Orlando, FL @ The Plaza Live
04/08 – St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
04/10 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room
04/11 – Ponte Vedra, FL @ Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
04/13 – New Orleans, LA @ Joy Theatre
04/14 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theatre
04/15 – San Antonio, TX @ The Aztec Theater
05/12 – Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees Music Festival
06/01 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
06/02 – Albany, NY @ The Palace Theater
06/03 – Houston, TX @ FPSF
06/06 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
06/09 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival
06/11 – Saint Louis, MO @ The Pageant
06/13 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater
06/14 – Chicago, IL @ The Riviera
06/16 – Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theatre
06/17 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
06/18 – Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
07/20 – Seattle, WA @ The Paramount
07/21 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
07/22 – Portland, OR @ Edgefield
07/28 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre: Berkeley
07/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
Go to feelitstill.com for the full interactive version of the video. There you'll find 30 tools of #theresistance to fight apathy and injustice hidden in the film.