Breagh Mackinnon, Carleton Stone and Dylan Guthro have released their own solo albums, but tomorrow they will debut their first self-titled folk-pop album as Port Cities.
As a solo musician, Stone says the pressure to hire the most talented touring musicians can often put you in close quarters with difficult personalities. The friends eventually started hiring each other and as songs developed, starting a band together “was just a natural thing.”
Their connection and awareness of one another can be heard in their songs, woven into balanced harmonies and delicate timing.
“Something that people keep saying is that people hear music all the time, but it’s digital and made on a computer for the supermarket or the Super Bowl or something,” says Stone. “There’s just something magical about seeing three humans with a great bond, in a room, singing together—it just kind of reminds people that that’s what music really is.”
Each band member has a different musical background: Mackinnon—a jazz pianist, Stone—a longtime performing artist and Guthro—the son of acclaimed Bruce Guthro. Stone says these varying backgrounds compliment each other in the song writing process.
“Most people start writing songs alone in their bedroom, it’s a really solitary pursuit,” says Stone. “When you find people and start collaborating with them you’re getting excited about the same ideas and creating something that’s better than you would sitting in a room by yourself.”
Port Cities has been sitting on the album for a year while getting signed to Warner Music Canada. Tomorrow they will debut the album in a series of pop-up shows at Taz Records, the NSCC waterfront campus, Music Nova Scotia and Casino Nova Scotia, before heading out on a cross-country tour.
“It’s so much sweeter now that it’s finally coming out after so long.”