Watch: PORTS – The Devil Is A Songbird


A perfectly-paced masterstroke of subtle, emotive power, ‘The Devil is a Songbird’ is arguably the strongest single to date from Derry’s PORTS. Accompanied by a superb video directed by the band and Paul Martin Brown, it aims straight for the jugular, confirming the band’s ever-growing standing as one of the country’s finest acts of their inspirited ilk.

Speaking to us about the track, Steven McCool from the band said, “Like most of the songs I write it starts off with imagery, daydreaming. I could picture a woman in an old dark candle lit room staring blankly to the side. It looked like a scene from a Bélla Tar or David Lynch film. I tried to imagine why this woman was sitting this way, almost caged in, in peaceful repose. And created a story of regret and loss. The woman being trapped in this monotonous life, unhappy but at peace. Accepting this reality. The male keeping her this way, engulfed in jealousy at the idea of anyone having any contact. Keeping her locked away. I hope though. that it’s open to interpretation. That’s just what I took from the image that I say. After I’d written the lyrics I was messing about with mobile phones on speakerphone. I whistled the melody and it eerily sounded like birds in the background. I found this very fitting.”

Check out forthcoming PORTS’ dates and the video for ‘The Devil is a Songbird’ below.

May 19th: Marlborough Theatre, Brighton Great Escape
May 26: Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart
May 27: Black Box, Belfast
May 28: The Glassworks, Derry~Londonderry
June 4: Whelan’s, Dublin
July 15: Railway Tavern, Fahan


is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.