By Caroline Janes
Album: The House
Release Date: January 19, 2018
Porches’ latest release, The House, is a standout album for dreamy synth pop lovers everywhere. The New York-based group’s lead vocalist, Aaron Maine, now has three albums under his belt. Although Maine largely worked on the record himself, some other artists such as Dev Haynes of Blood Orange, (Sandy) Alex G, and even even Maine’s father, Peter Maine, made contributions to the album in some way.
The tracks on The House flow together smoothly giving the album cohesion and a sense of a storyline. There are several themes that are embedded in the album lyrically, thematically and musically which also contribute to the album’s effortless progression. The raw vocals and continuous synth add to the dreamy and minimalistic nature of the album. Each song tells a story and several songs allude to a lost love and personal growth.
The album opens with several upbeat songs that wouldn’t sound out of place at a club, but in a good way. The first two songs, “Leave the House” and “Find Me” serve as a nice juxtaposition lyrically. As the title indicates, Maine says he “just wants to leave the house” and contrastingly, “Find Me” opens with “I think that I’ll stay inside.” These songs demonstrate Maine’s inner conflict which is illustrated throughout the album.
There are a few shorter songs such as “Understanding” and “Åkeren” that serve as a sort of interlude which is a great way to transition between the songs and give the album continuity. These two songs also stand out because they are the only songs on the album that aren’t sung by Maine. “Understanding” features vocals from Maine’s father which shows just how personal this project is to Maine. Maine’s girlfriend, Kaya, of Okay Kaya is behind the vocals on “Åkeren.” This song is attention grabbing not only because of the female voice, but also because it is sung entirely in Norwegian, Kaya’s native language.
Water serves as a lyrical theme that runs throughout the album. It is mentioned in almost half of the songs including “W Longing” and “Country.” “W Longing” and “Anything You Want” essentially share the lyrics “tell me what you want to hear, I want you to hear it” with a slight variation in “Anything You Want.” The repetition and continuation of these ideas between the songs add to the album’s cohesion. Maine truly knows how to tell a story through music.
The House is a solid record that sounds so effortless and personal to the artist. This is an album that is easy to turn to no matter what your mood is because of its versatility in beat and lyrics. I look forward to Porches’ continual growth as an artist.
Porches is among the hundreds of break out artists that will be playing at SXSW this March. He will also make a stop in Dallas on March 17th at Club Dada.