Brooklyn singer-songwriter, Aubrey Haddard, will make you miss the parties and nights from less isolated times with her newest single “Portuguese Red.” Her latest single joins two others released in 2020, “Thin Line” and “Sweeter Honey,” all of which were written during an independent tour in France in 2018. Haddard’s continued sensitivity and vulnerability in her songwriting, enhanced with strong vocals and misty instrumentals, fills this single with intensity and energy.
“Portuguese Red” is a nostalgic piece—a synth-pop ballad dedicated to the night Haddard met her partner in 2016. In an interview with American Songwriter, Haddard recounts sitting in the kitchen of his Brooklyn apartment; she had asked him, “If I were a wine, what would I be?” His answer: a Portuguese Red. Using this romantic moment as basis for the song, Haddard lyrically narrates the intense rush of emotions from this dialogue (“Just like a Portuguese Red I went to your head / And you got dizzy / Took some time but for now we’re fine / Lying on your couch in New York / Simpler times / They’re on my mind / Undefined / Refrigerator wine”). Haddard reflects on this night with deep nostalgia and longing, a feeling especially prevalent in a time when nightlife and many social interactions are put on pause. With Haddard’s catchy guitar riffs, accompanying bass lines, and typical indie pop drumbeats, “Portuguese Red” is the perfect song for dancing and reminiscing with friends and partners.
Serving as an escapist landscape for the artist to return to in romantic memories and daydreams, the music video, directed by Josh Thomas, does a fantastic job of recapturing the emotions of the referenced night. Set in Brooklyn, the video frames Haddard as being trapped in a fantasy under stage lights in ordinary situations. The dark framing and muted colors contrast with the sparkling city and gleaming spotlights, making the video feel dreamy and intoxicating—an ideal compliment to the track.
Following the release of this single, there’s hope for what the future brings to Aubrey Haddard and her band. Currently, they’re planning for a live performance at the Levitate Music Festival on July 9, 2021. Either way, Haddard’s career is one to watch.