Album Review: Porches – The House

By Maria Lubanovic, Staff Writer
[Domino; 2018]
Rating: 7.5/10

Key Tracks: “Now The Water”, “Åkeren”, “Goodbye”

The House is Porches’ third full-length album, pulling together a more electronic driving force than his previous works. The album delivers a lot of very short tracks, but they somehow don’t get lost under longer songs because of their unique tone and punchy beats.

The album opens with frontman Aaron Maine singing “let it happen” in a strained voice, before plunging into an electro-pop beat underneath synths. From there, the melody twists into a dissonant harmonization between Main’s and his layering background vocals. This sets the tone for the rest of the album to be an electronic synth dream. “Find Me” centers around a bell-tone like beat and sparkling synth overtones, using auto-tune to blend some of Maine’s vocals into the music.

“Now The Water”, one of the standout tracks on the album features instrumentation that echoes an 80s style with its front loaded drum hits and plucky electric guitar riffs. The vocals, however, carry a very modern descending melody. The song finishes with a whirring effect, like somehow the track is winding down. This is followed by “Country”, a track that swirls over round piano tones, feeling very ethereal.

“By My Side” begins by wheezing into a piano riff and little drum solo and transforming into an electric slow jam. Maine’s vocals slide between pitches in time with the piano. The track finishes in the same wheezing windy fashion. The album skips into “Åkeren”, a track that has one of the more complicated rhythm structures and layers with different instruments and beats. Somehow, it creates a cohesive and interesting track.

This album loves to fake out the listener with a slow opening into a much more upbeat melody. This is exactly what happens in “Anymore”, a track that is helped up mostly with auto-tune and synth rhythms duct-taped together. This eventually rattles apart into one of the more intricate instrumental sections on the album. “Wobble” does exactly what it says it will, with shaky vocals and vibrated electric guitar stabs before fuzzing out.

Even though it would make more sense at the end of the album, “Goodbye” is a track that tricks the listener into thinking it’s going to be acoustic, and then picks up with a beaming synth riff and upbeat soft drumming. “Swimmer” also has an 80s-style background, as well as a rolling modern sensibility.

With a warped and dissonant background, “W Longing” distinguishes itself as the longest track on the album. It uses many of the themes that Maine knows best through the rest of the album: synth, auto-tuned vocals, bell tones, and reaching lyrics. The album ends with “Anything U Want”, a track that waves and bends under Maine’s vocals. It’s soft and fades the album on just the right note, one that spans the last 20 seconds of the song before it sounds like Maine is picking up his things and leaving – It’s a fitting closer.

Overall, The House is cohesive and beautiful, with creative production and shimmering electronic effects. For people who love electro-pop, this is definitely worth a listen.

Listen here:

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