Scarlet Mill – Port Henry

If you’re looking for a dark, atmospheric, almost murder ballad feeling song the new single from Scarlet Mill, Port Henry, will most definitely appeal to you.

With an almost Santana style guitar riff, the song starts confidently and with plenty of swagger. The almost relentless drum pattern becomes intoxicating as you let Port Henry just wash over you.

Scarlet Mill are a Dutch alt/Indie band who are making some waves in their home country. Port Henry is the first part of a series of stories which will be told in a full album soon. We can’t wait to hear what happens next.

The male vocalist reminds us very much of Leonard Cohen. There’s a depth and almost menacing feel to his voice, and at times we couldn’t help but think of Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue’s “where the wild roses grow” Female vocals are added here and there to help maintain interest as well as some rather interesting panned, almost telephone-sounding, vocals occasionally.

There’s always something happening in this song, which helps maintain interest, even though its rather longer than anything usually played on commercial radio. It may be something suitable for a sync deal. It feels almost like something that would be on the jukebox in a bar in an unsettling scene.

The bass and drums remain pretty steady throughout the song and keep it moving forward, but it maintains its interest by some great choices of other instrumentation, together with some really good use of panning to help make the song feel fuller and more stereo.

The occasional piano riffs reminded us of the Boomtown Rats “I don’t like Mondays” and the whole feel of the song is of a Classic Rock era. We were particularly drawn to the hammond that comes and goes throughout the song.

From our perspective on the production, there’s a dominance in the bass at around 100Hz which we’d just notch out slightly. A dip around 200Hz will help bring the snare more into line with the track and a dip at 2kHz and 4kHz will take out a little harshness in the organ and guitar respectively.

Port Henry has the story telling feel of a folk song, but the instrumentation and style of a classic rock track. Its a really unique crossing of genres that’s done very well and we’re excited to hear what comes next in the saga!

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