Because Seattle is all but synonymous with grunge and “alternative” rock, its other schools of music sometimes have an uphill battle for national recognition. You might not ever read about Seattle’s neo-pop soul movement stealing the flannel throne, but you could very well read about the rise of one of its practitioners—Portia Monique. Monique takes R&B and gives it a forward-thinking hip hop edge. She’s blessed with a voice that can be feather light (see the dreamy piano ballad, “Get To Know You,” which was written and recorded in one sitting) or soulful, strong and limber. “Midnight Thoughts” starts with a fluttering beat, then adds layers and layers of vocals and textures, taking the listener through the twists and turns of a restless mind. The mood lightens on the percussive, synthy “I’m Not Your Girl,” where Monique echoes the sentiment of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” The girl has talent, and all we can say is, here we are now. Entertain us.
“Midnight Thoughts” – Portia Monique