It’s hard to pinpoint where exactly in Port Lucian’s “Lucid Dreaming II” the sound hits its overwhelmingly layered and intense apex, as the song lifts you gently into it like a sleepy morning train ride. By the time you’ve hit your destination, you’re so covered by this blanket of warm, polished guitars and swirling effects that it makes it almost difficult to stand up again.
Port Lucian is the indie pop project of Portia Maidment, who’s following up her poppy and slightly experimental indie rock EP “Sun” with “Lucid Dreaming II”, a slow, dense, and heavily romantic new single. The track is baked in reverb and rich, layered guitar arpeggios which form a wall of sound that Maidment’s voice soars over like an airplane. However, the affectations to her heavily harmonized vocalizations tend to hide her lyrics underneath the thick guitars and heavy bass, leaving only her celestial voice in tones. Bright synthesizers peek out from underneath the heavy melodies, enabling comparisons to similarly lush and affecting songwriters like Mac Demarco and Julien Baker, while flanged and effected guitars maintain the experimental nature of her first EP.
Port Lucian thrives in anxious serenity, with lines like “I think I could have you/If I tried” showing her taking a step back to look at her own apprehensions and revel in her own responsibilities. At these moments, the track really does feel like the experience of lucid dreaming, stopping yourself to take a look at the world around you, and what is and is not real.