Snapping beats which transcend into a rollercoaster of emotion, passion and ingenuity, New Yorker Porches (AKA Aaron Maine) returns with his third studio release, The House, an album which captures the fragilities of life in its very essence. Synth pop-electronica is always an incredibly hit and miss genre but, as we delve into The House, we’re met with such a strong deal of variation which makes every track feel sharp and fresh whilst being strongly intertwined to the last. There are times of pure club anthems, heartfelt emotion and some tracks which even border on some kind of fluid hybrid of folk and electronica, all creating a listen which is a fantastic way to start your year of discovering fresh artists.
Whilst Aaron’s vocals may not be the most powerful on the scene, their rough edges and modern realism really captivate a sense of emotion behind each lyric and create an oddly warming if not deceptively jarring feel to the tracks. Numbers such as ‘Find Me’ could easily border more into the psychedelic scene and it is Aaron’s tones which really inject a sense of relatable and relaxing vibes to the song. Porches have definitely become masters of capturing imaginaries within their music, whether it be the intensity of the vibrant ‘Find Me’, placing you right in the middle of a clubbing environment or the far more chilled ‘Country’, plopping you in the middle of the ambient, empty wilderness. You can truly believe every word which is presented and the accompanying sounds only emphasise the sharp visuals created.
Equally, the use of multi-instrumental layering behind this record is definitely an awe inspiring factor of Porches’ sound. The combination of a very clean sounding piano combined with the erratic pings of various synths and a heavy drum beat shouldn’t work, yet they somehow certainly do! Tracks such as the short but sweet ‘Akeren’ capture the chaotic genius behind the sound brilliantly and really leave this album feeling zesty throughout. The introduction of another female voice, which sounds eerily familiar to Broen’s Marianna Røe, is a wonderful addition and provided a much needed break from Aaron’s tones, acting as a brilliant mid point for the record’s pacing.
It seems that The House genuinely has something for everyone and I honestly can’t decide which side of the album I prefer. The harsher, more upbeat tracks such as ‘Anymore’ are simply invigorating and make you want to get up and dance, whilst the album’s later aspects of emotional string pulling and intricate lyricism such as ‘Understanding’ and ‘Wobble’ inject a strong sense of personality and relaxing vibes which you can really sink into. For myself though, there is one track which beautifully combines both of these aspects into three and a half minutes of simple bliss. The album’s penultimate track, ‘Ono’, captures everything which is making Porches such a name to watch, the use of remarkably strong sound bites to compliment what is possibly the best vocal performance from Aaron is simply incredible. Being paired with such a powerful backing track, the piece brilliantly transitions between the larger chorus sound before shifting back into another intimate verse.
As we leave this album with ‘Anything U Want’, it feels as though the listen has come to a holistic closure which I can certainly get on board with. The House is definitely an album which hasn’t been rushed and tells Aaron’s detailed journey in a wonderful manner, this is an album which I can see myself coming back to during anytime of the year and it has the power and memorableness to stick inside your head. Porches are doing a fantastic job creating a sound which feels familiar but all too fresh and it is albums like this which will continue to grow Aaron’s name into something truly special.