In the winter of 2012, Vena Portae found themselves in the tiny, snowed-in Swedish town of Mölnbo just outside Stockholm. They built a make shift studio, full to the rafters with analogue equipment, spring reverbs, electric guitars, banjos, pianos and an array of weird and wonderful instruments. Over the space of a month, they recorded a treasure trove of songs, inspired by heartbreak, passion, and intrigue, which together make up the album 'Vena Portae'.
Vena Portae means 'vein portal' in Latin; it's a short vein that carries blood to the liver. The band were inspired by ideas of roads, rivers, creative openings, connections between people, places and life force.
Emily Barker is the BAFTA award-winning writer and performer of the theme to BBC TV crime drama Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. With her band The Red Clay Halo, she also provided the atmospheric theme to highly acclaimed noir thriller The Shadow Line. Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo have released four critically acclaimed albums, toured extensively over the world, performed alongside friend and collaborator Frank Turner at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony and recently released their album ‘Dear River' in the UK on Linn Records to critical acclaim, with four and five star reviews across the board.
British songwriter-theatre maker Dom Coyote is an associate artist with the world renowned Kneehigh Theatre and has performed in sold out shows with them throughout the UK, South America and the U.S. He has performed and composed for acclaimed companies such as The Royal Shakespeare Company, Art Angel and the National Theatre as well as creating his own brand of gig-theatre, mixing alt-folk, rock, world music and multimedia.
Ruben Engzell is a shining light in the Swedish music scene. Working with Christian Kjellvander, Peter Morén and EP's Trailer Park to name a few, Ruben worked on ground-breaking London projects such as Future Cinema and Sona Soul before returning to his home country to set up his own studio in SoFo, the creative heart of Stockholm.
Jesper Jonsson, who joins the band onstage as a live drummer/percussionist, grew up on the remote Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic sea, before moving to Stockholm where he headed up the rhythm sections for highly regarded artists such as EP's Trailer Park, Lisa Lindal and Laakso.