[Album Review] Portage and Main- Never Had the Time
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by Tiana Feng


Release Date: January 22, 2013
Label: Independent

Never Had the Time is the second album from Vancouver’s Portage and Main. Independently released on Bandcamp, the group is not trying to re-invent anything but do what they do best.

Portage and Main maintain the fact that the group can write straightforward twangy love songs that are unpretentious. It seems effortless and they don’t rely on the typical build-up to the end type songs. Instead they tease you with the occasional violin, guitar, keyboard or harmonica solo.

“Better Man” and “Sweet Darlin'” are the more upbeat tracks to an album which is otherewise pretty laidback in tempo. That is not to say it is boring. The group who has now expanded to a quintet creates stunning and thoughtful atmospheric touches like the keyboard in “Oona Jean”. A personal favourite is the delicate duet “This Old Heart” decorated with the beautiful vibrato of a violin.

In the coldness of winter, Never Had the Time is the album you put on when you’re sitting by the fire having a cup of cocoa.