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December 06, 2011  | by: Dania McDermott


There aren’t too many bands who can let more than a decade elapse between albums and return with unhampered relevance.

But British-born Portishead isn’t exactly your run-of-the-mill music machine — so when one of its members makes no bones about new music being in the horizon, fans stand pointedly at attention.

Following a limited city tour in October, when the band played the aptly titled Third for American audiences for the first time, Portishead will probably be hitting the studio again in 2012.

As Geoff Barrow explained in 2010, the trip-hop trio should ideally release their fourth album at a much sooner interval than the 10+ years it took between 1997′s Portishead and 2008′s Third.

“I just want to bang on, get another record out. Hopefully it’ll be an awful lot quicker because we’re all older and wiser.”

Beth Gibbons & Geoff Barrow (1994)

Beth Gibbons & Geoff Barrow (1994)

But don’t go getting too excited, Portishead fans. Despite Barrow’s recent admission that he intends to begin writing in January, we must remember two crucial points:

1. This is a band actually comprised of artists.

2. History dictates that they’ll release new work when they’re damn well ready.

Don’t believe it? Just ask Barrow, who ultimately confirms the validity of point #2:

“We’ll release [new music] when it feels like we’ve got something to say. I think any one of us would prefer to take some van driving job than release an album that we didn’t feel comfortable about.”

And so begins the plight of choosy music enthusiasts everywhere; the double-edged sword of loving an act with enough integrity to be haughty effectively guaranteeing that we’ll go without — for now anyway.

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