What I’m Listening To: Portable Morla

Last week I sat in The Living Room in Capitol Hill, sipping a cocktail in attempt to escape the miserable weather outside and my attention was peaked by the sounds of Portable Morla.

Portable Morla – aka Mariah Hesseltine – is a Seattle-based musician who combines minimalist new wave synth with rich, classic vocals. She is not a well-known name in the Seattle music scene yet, but I have a suspicion that will change.

I was impressed by her deft handling of her electronic instruments in creating beats, while lingering over lyrics in her velvety rich voice, which is reminiscent of local artist Shenandoah Davis.

In her video for  the song “Ode to Willow”, this juxtaposition of the natural and the synthesized is heightened as a steady electronic beat provides the background to scenes of Hesseltine exploring open fields and abandoned houses, her vocals gentle and haunting like a 1930s lounge singer.

See for yourself: