Portugal. The Band

With “Feel It Still,” their first hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, Portugal. The Man has won some long-deserved commercial success.

Our cover story from the November 2017 issue offers a perspective on Portugal. The Man from guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Eric Howk. The band has been around since 2006, and Howk has been friends with its members for even longer, having first met them in school when they first started making music together. When his friends formed Portugal. The Man, Howk wasn’t a part of it, but he was never totally left behind—and in 2015, he finally got on board. As luck would have it, his timing was perfect, as the band’s sixth release Woodstock gave them their first Top 40 hit. Listen to “Feel It Still” below:

Part of what makes “Feel It Still” so compelling is its R&B-tinged sound. As we mention in Song of the Month, the song actually borrows its chorus melody from “Please Mr. Postman” by girl group the Marvelettes. Even if you know the original song, it can be easy to miss its influence in the context of such modern-sounding production. Another prominent classic sound that boosts the song’s catchy quality is the horns—a style also imitated by singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. Check out this stripped down rendition of the song and see how it takes on a completely different character: