Album: The House
Put-it-on-a-playlist: “Now the Water,” “By My Side”
The debate is finally settled—the only white guys allowed to use Auto-Tune ever again are Justin Vernon and Aaron Maine. And these days, I’m not so sure about Bon Iver…
Porches is a new indie up-and-comer to keep an eye on. They already have the kickass name (looks good next to Pavement, Beach House and Real Estate). They also have a unique sound: indie-rock-synthpop at its most hushed and refined. And they also have a prime architect—Porches is not a “band” at all, but rather an Aaron Maine solo project.
The music is melancholy, with plenty of post-dub gurgles and Modern Vampires churgles. Maine’s voice is clear and pure—perfectly suited for strategic Auto-Tuning.
Porches’ previous album Pool was smooth and enjoyable. There’s even a basketball on the front cover. Trite in a wholesome way, but it also felt a little empty. Nevertheless, it was one of 2016’s hidden gems.
The House improves upon its predecessor without changing the approach. Now that I’m more familiar with the Porches aesthetic, I can see that the emptiness is part of the charm. And the emptiness doesn’t stem from ambience either, which is an impressive feat from an electronic artist.
Even more than Pool, The House sounds like the work of a tightly-knit band.
There are no techno tricks and everything is added for texture. This also helps to sell the Auto-Tune. With hints of The War on Drugs, the 1980s and the country of Norway, Porches are indescribable but completely of the moment. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of Sam Smith and SZA or James Blake and Burial—this music should satisfy anyone.
Aaron Maine is making moves out here. These homemade beats-with-twinkles-of-guitar are really starting to grow on me. I’m sure if I keep The House in my regular rotation—and listen to “By My Side” at least once a day for the foreseeable future—then this latest album from Porches could certainly end up being one of my favorites of 2018.