Release Date: Feb 5, 2016
Record label: Domino
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
In the music video for Porches’ "Be Apart," Aaron Maine and his band wear black turtlenecks as they mope around an apartment decorated like a dollhouse. They bounce basketballs, play ping-pong, strip down to share a bubble bath, activities that might take place at a party thrown for the very idle rich. Near the halfway mark, they stare into the camera like the Children of the Corn, barely mouthing along to words in a way that will make you suspect they have either an awful or incredible sense of humor.
From dreamy Americana to his new-wave tinged dark pop, the early stages of Porches found Aaron Maine penning some very evocative narratives for such a young songwriter. Porches' second album, Pool (Maine's Domino Records debut), takes a more introspective dip, with poignant, swoon-worthy lyrics that feel fit for a movie. Maine often taps chic '80s synth hooks, twangy guitar chords and disco/house jukes for an offbeat merger that carries the album's sense of bliss throughout."Underwater" coasts on skeletal rhythms that rise up and evolve into more fleshed out Balearic forms, as Maine takes us on a wavy, nostalgia ride.
Slow Dance in the Cosmos, the 2013 full-length debut from Porches, ends with main man Aaron Maine instructing the listener, “Pay no attention while I’m getting spaced out” on half-title-track closer “The Cosmos,” delivering a telling one-liner before the final chorus: “I wanna go dancing in the public eye. ” The song is the perfect set-up for creating a new identity, and the several singles he’s released since then have been clear signals that he really does want to go dancing, and that he is indeed getting spaced out. These singles have also eased listeners into the sound that dominates Pool, Porches’ Domino debut and second official album.
Aaron Maine’s second album under the guise of Porches sees him developing his sound considerably. His début Slow Dance In The Cosmos first appeared on Bandcamp, and showed a singer-songwriter with depth and promise. Maine was apparently quite happy in the world of slightly distorted, warm folk, but fairly unhappy with everything else. Pool finds him embracing electronics and the aesthetics of ’80s synth-pop.
While indie singer/songwriter Aaron Maine has released music under multiple pseudonyms, including a Ronald Paris debut in 2014, Porches stands as the most active and successful alias of the style-shifting Manhattan musician to date. Rarely stagnant in the past, the moniker's sophomore full-length, Pool, marks a distinct palette shift from the electronics-enhanced, twangy guitar- and acoustic drums-centered sound of its 2013 debut to full-on indie electronic. However, calling it a reinvention would be an overstatement, as Maine's characteristically brooding tone and emotively direct vocal and songwriting manner brand the results distinctly his.
?Aaron Maine has discovered a variety of electronic toys in the intervening years between 2013’s Slow Dance in the Cosmos and his latest release Pool under his Porches banner, with the synthesised stylings adding a musical darkness to the already shadowy corners of his source material. Among the mixture of house-based throbs, disco jiving “Braids” and funky, pickled guitars there are a selection of tricks on the record which provide an eighties bite to the more modern cascading scales and slow-burning languor of Maine’s often distorted vocals. Voyeuristic lyrics detail a varying degree of proximity to his subject.
"How many more of these sad songs can one boy write?" Aaron Maine asked on an early release in 2011. It was almost like he was giving himself a dare. He's written a boatload of sad songs over the last few years (as Porches and under other aliases) – good ones, too, dabbling in a wide range of modern whiteboy blues styles, from low-fi basement rock to low-fi basement folk to low-fi basement synth-pop.
Porches is the project of singer-songwriter Aaron Maine, whose debut album ‘Slow Dance in the Cosmos’ was a breath of fresh air when it emerged via Bandcamp in 2013. Now signed to Domino, ‘Pool’ is Porches’ second album proper, and it’s a monumental step in a different direction for Maine. Whether it’s the right direction entirely depends on how the project is viewed - ‘Pool’ isn’t steeped in bleak, insular indie rock (though the melancholy remains throughout) - instead, it’s the sound of an artist making the first major change of location in his life, and moving his artistic direction along with it.
“I wait for it to come/ I am so patient,” Aaron Maine drolls on “Be Apart”. On Pool, the latest from his band Porches, there’s plenty of waiting. “Don’t want to be here/ So I just wait around,” he adds on “Mood”. There’s also plenty of water — pools, particularly, as suggested by the album title.
Porches don’t come across as particularly likable on their first release under Domino imprint, Pool. There’s a standoffish quality to their faux-ironic seduction that intends to characterize a feeling of deep dissatisfaction, where main songwriter Aaron Maine expects us to feel pathos for his downwardly synth melodies. But how are we supposed to care when he’s too strung-out to begin with, as he constantly wallows in excessive self-contemplation and with hardly a sharp thoughtfor us to even take a peak into his lamentation.
Imagine being 17 and falling into the indoor pool at a rich kid's house, emerging drenched in both chlorine and a detached ennui. That's Pool. New Yorker Aaron Maine's second album under the moniker Porches is a dreamy, carefully curated slice of apathetic youth through honeyed electronica and muted guitars. "Hour" and "Be Apart" pulsate addictive Eighties pop, and the instrumentation of "Mood" recalls the Twin Peaks soundtrack.
by Elena Badillo It’s hard to imagine that an artist with a remarkably brilliant, decade long musical career has just had a full-length debut. But the timing in Anna Meredith’s Varmints is, at most, as unorthodox as its content and as its author. After spending several years as a successful composer-in-residence for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Meredith immersed herself into electronic music, eventually starting to experiment with it, blending it with her classical underpinnings.
For his second record, Aaron Maine should have brought his synth-driven pop into a proper studio. As it is, his vocals have a distinctly haunting feel but often fall out of focus since he tries to showcase peculiar electronic arrangements within the limitations of the instruments available in his bedroom. Writing and recording almost entirely in his new Manhattan apartment, the singer/songwriter lets listeners into the daily ups and downs of his recent move.