By Dallas Williams
Label: Domino Records
Release: February 5, 2016
Porches, the moniker of musician Aaron Maine, has just released his latest effort, Pool. Much like the name would suggest, the album is overflowing with references to water. While water is a recurrent theme, the prevailing theme is “mid-twenties/ early adulthood.” On this record, we find Maine exploring production and sound while defining what it means to be a twenty-something adult. In that awkward age of not yet being fully established and having grown out of early adulthood, it feels like you’re surrounded by this force that everyone seems to be able to manage but you. It’s very akin to swimming.
This aspect of adulthood is most evident in the track “Be Apart.” Maine sings of loneliness and a desire to belong. We hear Maine wade through the murky waters of deciding to go out and force yourself to be among others even if you don’t want to. On the production side, “Be Apart” resembles small waves flowing through the ocean. Maine achieves this goal by pairing heavy layered synths with simple instrumentation and soft vocals. This combination flows throughout the entire record.
The album as a whole is dense. It has the moody lyrics of the chillwave genre paired with synths of new wave or post punk. The aqueous sounds and references guide the listener to immerse themselves in this record. With Pool being such a viscous moody record, it still remains danceable. While you won’t be creating intricate dance routines to any of the 12 songs on Pool, it is possible to sway, bop and dance an impassioned two step. Whether you are by the ocean, a pool, or simply trying to figure adulthood, Pool is a great addition to your record collection.