We're stuck at home. Musicians are stuck at home. We're looking for entertainment. Musicians are looking to entertain. So City Paper is working with Pittsburgh artists and bands to bring you Quarantunes, a series of at-home performances to bring a little enjoyment to your day.
Portrait People was ready to release their debut LP. The band's tentative release schedule for Hallow, a follow-up to the 2017 EP Hollow, included two single drops leading up to the LP unveil and an album release show at The Mr. Roboto Project. But the band — made up of Dave Pawlowski and String Machine members Nic Temple, Mike Law, and David Beck — was forced to make other plans as COVID-19 began to spread.
The pop-punk outfit dropped Hallow's first single, "Sulfur," earlier than intended to help gather donations for The Mr. Roboto Proejct.
"These past couple weeks (and unfortunately what seems to be weeks to come) have been taking a toll on most everyone and local venues are certainly not excluded," reads Portrait People's Facebook post. "These places rely on your support in coming out to their shows and we'd hate to see them suffer. If you're able, donate what you can (anything helps!) Stay well, much love."
Below, Temple, the band's lead singer and primary songwriter, gives listeners another taste of Hallow with an acoustic version of "Darkroom 419." Originally set to drop in May, Hallow's release date is now TBD.
(All questions answered by Temple)
What's been your favorite thing to do while home?
Apex Legends and Monster Energy Supercross 3 have been keeping my brain stimulated (add me on Xbox:NiccyT) and demoing out some new songs.
Name a song that you feel encapsulates our current state.
I actually had a very vivid 'this is so relatable right now' moment the other day while listening to "Until We Can't (Let's Go)" by Passion Pit and daydreaming about going and doing summer things.
How have you seen yourself (your habits, demeanor, etc.) change since the stay-at-home order?
We've been playing it safe and not having our weekly band hang/practice which I'm really missing, but honestly other than that I've been pretty lucky. I'm still working since I'm in healthcare so I'm grateful to have that for something to do at least. I'm just trying to take it day by day and stay positive.
Give us a music-related podcast, album, or TV show recommendation to dive into during the quarantine.
This is the obvious answer but Tiger King is NUTS. When Joe sang, "I saw a tiger and tiger saw man," I felt that.
Are you working on any projects right now?
Yeah, I've been writing and demoing some new songs in my lil home studio. At this point, I don't have a big picture fleshed out yet, but so far they've all been more mellow acoustic-y songs due to being stuck at home.
How can people support your music during this time?
You could support us by checking out our new song "Sulfur" on Bandcamp and you can support the wonderful DIY venue The Mr. Roboto Project by purchasing the song! All proceeds go to the venue. And don't forget to support yourselves! stay well.
Want to participate in CP's Quarantune series? Reach out to Jordan at jsnowden[at]pghcitypaper.com.