Album Review: The House by Porches

Posted by Bianca on Friday Jan 19, 2018 Under Album Review

Album Review by Chloe Gynne

Aaron Maine’s Porches started working on ‘The House’ shortly after 2016’s ‘Pool’ was released- and it does, indeed, sound like a continuation of themes; this collection of songs expands on what we’ve heard before from the New York artist, treading naturally into unexplored territory.

The on-trend, minimal electropop of their breakthrough album remains; openers ‘Leave The House’ and ‘Find Me’ both rest on a 90s club beat, not exactly complementing Maine’s disaffected vocals, but instead amplifying them, at once both jarring and unique.

Somewhere in the middle of the album, the mood twists. Modern ballad ‘By My Side’ centres on the lyrics, “I will call you by your name/If you call me by mine”, a downbeat twist on Oscar-worthy movie ‘Call Me By Your Name’s sentiment. As Maine sings, “I believe our love is true,” synths pulse desperately in the background, begging the words to life.

The_House_Porches_1

It’s as if Maine has revealed too much of himself in this moment; autotune takes focus for the next few tracks, as if to conceal the truth behind the lyrics. He blends himself into the cold musical landscape of ‘Anymore’, but a sense of nostalgia still looms large over the track. Maine reminisces further on ‘Goodbye’ and ‘W Longing’, feelings of loss laid out atop these two songs, that could easily slot into an 80s teen movie, all angst and keyboard.

Maine himself said that writing ‘The House’ was “an exercise in documenting my immediate experiences,” but equally “an excuse to avoid my immediate surroundings.” ‘Ono’ is a reflection of that complexity: an undoubtedly cool electronic pop song, with a sad side.

As with the rest of the album, it’s on the right side of experimental- familiar but new. Yet despite its escapist instrumentalism, it can’t run from the emotion flowing between tracks; all conveyed in chronological order, slipping back into present as the album fades into ambient noise.

Again running on opposites, this album blends a musical maturity with an acknowledgement of personal naiveté that is refreshing for the genre. It is unapologetically true and, most crucially, compelling to listen to.

The House – released 19th January 2018

Leave a Reply