Porches: Pool Review

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By Dallas Williams
Music Reviewer

poolArtist: Porches
Album: Pool
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 life in your mid-twenties and 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 “it’s got me so awake/ the darkness hanging/ black water by my side/ I will go out tonight.” Maine wades through the murky waters of forcing yourself to be among others even if you don’t want to “cause I wanna be apart;” oh those hipster parties, how enticing you are. We hear Maine wade through the murky waters of deciding to go out and forcing 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. The combination flowing throughout the entire record maintaining the water imagery.

The album as a whole is dense. It has the moody lyrics of chillwave paired with synths of 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.

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