Port Arthur
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Port Arthur

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Alternative Rock




"The Key’s Year-End Mania: Julie Miller’s Top 5 ICYMI Philly records"

Did you know we have our very own Neutral Milk Hotel here in Philadelphia? Ok, Port Arthur isn’t quite Jeff Mangum & co…. they have a four-piece horn section when they play live! Move On is a very fun, very visual EP that was released in May. And when Port Arthur plays it live, with the horns and the six to seven people on stage, they’re like a family band back in the Victorian days doing a Vaudeville act. When I’m listening to the four songs I want to start illustrating the lyrics, forming images in my head of characters acting out the stories – a captain standing on the elaborate figurehead of his sinking ship; a goddess with “feathered wings” flying above a lake…. Like I said, it’s a very visual record. - XPN

"PREMIERE: Listen to Port Arthur’s spirited new “Fire” from an LP about life’s big experiences"

Philadelphia’s Port Arthur grabbed our attention last year with their unique take on brass folk rock and now the group plan to digitally release their debut full-length album, Everything’s Incredible. It’s an album that will focus on some of life’s big experiences, according to multi-instrumentalists: Luke Shefski: “lost love, spiritual discovery and newfound responsibility.”

Giving us a sneak peek into what lies ahead, the group has released their upbeat single “Fire,” which Shefski says is rooted in his struggles with self-doubt and overcoming challenges that require you to face them directly, particularly when he was faced with the potentially fatal Crohn’s disease. After coming out on top, Shefski explained that he had learned a valuable lesson:

I came out of it with the knowledge that everyone has power in them to overcome even the most severe of crises. I was still healing from this episode, and healing from the surgery, when I wrote “Fire”.

He further explained that the group went into the recording process with this newer song open-minded, with the studio drummer Kevin Paschall (DEAD, Roof Doctor, Brown Rainbow, Abi Reimold) jamming out the primal percussion on site, creating the track it is now.

“Fire” is upbeat and begs a singalong, featuring Shefski’s conversational tone backed up by sing-songy vocals. Accented with bellowing horns and spirited drumming, the song gives a genuinely upbeat attitude to a concept that can easily be consumed by negativity.

Stay tuned for their debut LP Everything’s Incredible, produced by Doug Raus at Brighton Sound Studio, available digitally on May 15th. Port Arthur will be hosting a 21+ release show at Bourbon & Branch Friday, May 29th. For more information, click here. Give a listen to “Fire” below. - XPN

"Help Support Port Arthur's Summer Tour!"

Crowd funding is a very interesting animal in the rise of the internet age! We did a feature on Roy Orbitron when they were turning to fans to help them record their new album as well as help out some people who were in need and Port Arthur is asking for your help as well. They’re going on tour in August and if you’ve ever been in a band you know how expensive / how much you’re not going to get paid venue to venue… that said you can help them out and get some pretty sweet prizes as well! Prizes range from a live tour recording, album downloads and private concerts! If you’ve never heard of Port Authur they’re a SEVEN PIECE folk, rock band complete with banjos, horns as well as various other instruments and are students of Temple University’s Boyer School of Music! Their goal is $2,500 which is pretty meager for to transport, feed and lodge seven people! If you’d like to find out more about their indiegogo campaign simply click on that link and read up about them! If you just want to check out their music before you decide if you’d want to contribute to their cause simply click play on their player below to listen to their new album “Everything’s Incredible!” Theres only 32 days left! So get stoked on Port Arthur and help them get out on the road! - Radio Static

"New Port Arthur Album Available For Streaming and Download"

Serene Americana welded within an experimental organ/synth-anchored platform, Fall of Man, the new EP from Port Arthur, toes the threshold between trippy and traditional. The Luke Shefski-led ensemble crafts a union between a folk proximity marinated in inviting strings and sustaining backing vocals. However, that backyard bonfire vibe is contrasted by surging searches of outer auras. - The Deli Philadelphia

"Listen to Port Arthur’s quirky and unconventional take on sad pop on Fall of Man"

Experimental pop collective Port Arthur recently released their oddly catchy 5-track EP Fall of Man. The brain child of Luke Shefski adds a healthy dose of quirkiness and fuzzed-out instrumentation to a folk-based rhythm to make you want to dance and cry at the same time.

Shefski’s AJJ-like vocals add a little bit of unconventionality to a twang-infested folk-punk sound, even going so far as to lace almost every track with some lovely Sunday school organ. “I Remember” kicks things off with a slightly Hawaiian vibe as an added lap steel works perfectly with a hollow six-string to tell a story of wanting to love without being able to.

Like in the harmony break of “Control,” quick hits of psychedelic keep your ears on its toes, but manages to stay grounded through a constant acoustic guitar and a heartbroken psyche. While the slow-paced ballads makeup the majority of this record, the true glee comes when the band takes some unexpected right turns, with cuts like “Blue Mountain Moon” and the title track hitting us with some lo-fi banjos and Doors-esque key solos out of nowhere. After it’s all over, Fall of Man ends up as an interesting listen, as anyone who presses play instantly becomes smitten with this weird melting-pot of melodic sounds. - XPN


Fall of Man EP - February 2017

Everything's Incredible - May 2015

Move On EP - May, 2014



Port Arthur stands between the earth and the sea, between matter and mind. Port Arthur's foundation is the music of Philadelphia singer-songwriter Luke Shefski, in collaboration with some of the most remarkable musicians in Philadelphia. They take inspiration from the untamed energy that simmers just below the surface of the ocean, and from the darkest, wildest corners of the forests of Pennsylvania.

Featuring elaborate instrumentation with dramatic air, the powerful sounds of Port Arthur have been compared variously to the West Coast psychedelia of the Doors and Jefferson Airplane and to modern alt-folk like Neutral Milk Hotel and the Mountain Goats. Active since 2011, we've played just about every room in Philadelphia, including Boot & Saddle and Johnny Brenda's.

Band Members