Porches, Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Tuesday, 18 October 2016

New York-based Aaron Maine, the 27 year-old behind Porches, has been on something of a musical journey these past few years.
2013’s raw, Neil Young-influenced album Slow Dance in the Cosmos hinted at a talented songwriter with an ear for a hook, but it was the maturity of this year’s synth pop symphony Pool that really drew attention.
 
A dorky crowd assembled under the low-slung beams of Sticky Mike’s basement for an immersive set that traversed every 1980s NYC musical back alley.
 
Maine’s intimate and understated vocals melted sumptuously into a sub-aquatic cacophony of murky synths and insistent analogue riffs. It suited the venue’s dinginess perfectly.
 
The musical fingerprints of girlfriend Greta Kline (AKA Frankie Cosmos) were audible in Mood’s funky, melodic bassline, drawn to the fore by sprawling keyboards that seemed to surge and dissolve all at once.
 
Be Apart, with its sparse hook and lyrical aloofness, was an immediate crowd-pleaser, while duel Stratocaster-driven live versions of Car and Underwater sounded even more fuzzy and new-wave than their studio counterparts.
 
Porches’ blend of pure pop music and introspective melancholy is a potent combination, and one that may yet reach a far wider audience than this.
★★★★
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Image: Treefort Music Fest
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