Swiss Portrait – “Always”


“Always” is a serene, textured rock success from Swiss Portrait, the Edinburgh-based project of Michael Kay Terence. The artist describes the effort as “about my brother who died when I was 8.”

Hazy intrigue and indecipherable vocals ascend quickly into spirited guitar jangles, falling as the gentle vocals emerge. The lyrics reference the album title — “pain of happiness,” — as meditative guitar layering takes hold. The “always,” repeating sequence sends chills with the ghostly vocal inflection and tonal yearning. Themes of overcoming tragedy, even as the big waves keep coming, resonate firmly within this atmospheric, dreamy rock and pop intertwining.

The track comes via the new album The Crippling Pain Of Happiness, streaming below in full:

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of July 2023’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Dream-Pop.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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