Porches Make Waves with Pool

New Album Maintains Morose Allure

Bennett Smith, Page 8 Editor

 

The slightly electronic, slightly indie-rock, fully entertaining group Porches have released their third album since 2013, titled Pool. Compared to the band’s previous releases, Pool seems to exhibit a more cohesive sound while maintaining the endearingly morose allure that their music has developed, a quality chiefly expressed by the band’s singer, Aaron Maine. On Pool, Maine creates watery worlds of electronic drums and wavering synths, inviting us into his depressed-yet-interesting world of insecurity.

The album opener, “Underwater,” illustrates such an effect within the first thirty seconds. Fittingly titled, the track is carried by a wobbling whistle that sounds drowned out and muffled, covered up by the fluid chord progressions and Maine’s low voice crooning the words “Oh how I wish it (a vision) would show me…only the things that I want.” On “Be Apart,” Maine continues with the theme of emotional distance with a similar backdrop of pulsating synths and strong bass, complaining about his desire to “be a part of it all.” On the other hand, songs like “Mood” fit perfectly with the aesthetics of Toro y Moi’s chill-wave sound, using funky guitar to counter the mopey sound of Maine’s singing.

The cohesiveness of the record comes directly from its ability to open with a distinguished sound and stick to it while still plucking pieces from different genres and maintaining an element of variance. The emotional lyrical content is consistent and relatable, suitable for dealing with personal struggles of whatever kind. Maine’s melodic and comfortable soundscapes are a perfect sanctuary for escape. For example, the album’s highlight track “Shaver” floats along with swagger and groove, eventually breaking to allow a melancholy saxophone solo to push the song into goose-bump level effectuality, leaving the listener content and refreshed, almost as if they had just shaved. The most indie-rock and least electronic track on the album, “Car,” reveals something quintessential to the album’s nature. Maine passionately describes a trip to the car wash, claiming his vehicle as something that “takes us away from where we are.”

This idea of cars as the human being’s personal vessel of reclusion is shockingly accurate, seeing as how I’ve listened to this album almost entirely in my car. But something else about that statement rings true for Maine’s music and his newest album; it takes us to a place of contemplation and comfort, away from the demands of life and off into a pool of valuable introspection.

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