Portugal. The Man. I’m not sure where they came from, but man do they make a mean swing song. You may have come across “Feel It Still” on the radio, but did you know its the perfect practice Jive or social East Coast Swing tune? The easy sounding melody hides a dramatically quick tempo. For me, its the ideal song to work on speed and endurance. Too often I find that if the song sounds lightning fast, I’ll get anxious and rush the beat, or get overwhelmed and fall behind. “Feel It Still” tricks me into relaxing and settling into the beat, even though it is still a mid-tempo Jive.
I have also added this song into my social playlist for a groovy single-time East Coast Swing. For beginning dancers especially, I’ve found this song to be extremely helpful in learning the timing for single-time East Coast Swing. The pacing of the song is even throughout and the strong base and drum kit make for easily identifiable down-beats. For dancers looking for more of a challenge, working on hitch kicks and swivels to “Feel It Still” makes for an interesting practice round. I find that the more I listen to this song the more accents I pick-up on and want to highlight.
Taking a quick listen to the rest of the “Woodstock” album from Portugal. The Man the band seems to have a very distinctive, retro yet modern, jazzy aesthetic. To my ear, “Live in the Moment” would also make a fine addition to an East Coast Swing playlist. “So Young” would make for an interesting Nightclub, or VERY slow West Coast Swing. The band has definitely caught my attention, and I have a feeling that upon further inspection, we may find a few more great dance songs in their music history.