Porches - The House

by Justin Pearson Rating:7 Release Date:2018-01-19
Porches - The House
Porches - The House

The House, Aaron Maine's latest record as Porches sees him tapping into the immediacy and rough-draft quality of a demo recording. Talking about the recording process, he recently stated this: “The House is a diary. The House began immediately with a sense of urgency. A different kind of urgency than I had experienced previously when writing songs. I wasn't sure exactly what this meant while it was happening, but it felt necessary to embrace it. The songwriting became an exercise in documenting my immediate experiences, which writing has always been for me to a certain extent, but something particular was compelling me to try to portray these moments in a more linear way. Writing this record was a form of meditation, an escape, a routine - selfish at times, as it became an excuse to avoid my immediate surroundings.”

This method of documenting in the now lends an air of newness to the sound of Porches, but it’s still not as instantly exciting as previous album Pool was. There are some catchy songs here, yet most of them take one or two listens to warm up to.

The urgency Maine refers to can be felt especially in the chorus of ‘W Longing.’ When he sings “Tell me what you wanna hear” and “Tell me what you wanna feel” you can feel the sharpness of his pleas as if in real time.

‘Find Me’ is full-on house music tempered by the melancholy of Maine’s lyrics and characteristic, flat vocal delivery.

‘Now the Water’ is closer to the vibe on Pool than any track on here. It embodies the same quality of polished introspection of that record, leaving enough of a distance to make you want to keep coming back.

The diary-like nature of Maine’s songwriting leaves an air of “one and done” at times, which can be heard on the more even tempered tracks like ‘Wobble’ with its plaintive, guitar-led melody and ‘Country’, a short little minimalist ballad that’s over before you get a chance to really sink into it. Had they been more fleshed out, they might be more memorable, but this a minor complaint on a generally solid album.

Repeating something isn’t always a good thing, and in a bid to combat staleness The House basically succeeds as the next step in Maine’s evolution as an artist. What’s mostly good about this latest work from Porches is the fresh, forward-pushing nature of its sound, even if it lacks the firmer muscle of its predecessor.

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