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NYC's Porches will submerse Stopover audience in new sounds

 

NYC's Porches will submerse Stopover audience in new sounds

09 Mar 2016

Porches at Stopover

10 p.m. Saturday at Trinity United Methodist Church.

Read more of Do's Stopover coverage HERE.

 

It’s only March, but Porches’ recent release, “Pool,” may already be one of the best records of the year.

The band’s critically praised sophomore album has a consistent aquatic theme that matches nicely with the music’s watery, warbly, electronic grooves.

The album’s origins began a few years ago, when Aaron Maine, Porches’ frontman and songwriter, moved into an apartment in New York City where he explored new sounds and latched onto a more expedient way to record them.

“Moving to an apartment in the city and recording by myself seemed like the easiest way to record music,” Maine said. “The easiest way to record these days is on a computer. No live drum set, no guitar amp cranking too loud. It’s convenient to use keyboards and drum machines that you can keep on the headphones.”

Maine spent some time listening to and getting influenced by artists like Blood Diamond, Kelela, Drake and Kanye West.

“It’s more current music than I ever listened to,” Maine said. “I paid attention and got excited about making something that felt newer than guitar music.”

The resulting songs are less ramshackle, guitar-oriented rock and more R&B, house and new wave. The new songs aren’t a total departure from Porches’ debut “Slow Dance in the Cosmos.” Maine still sings with a high, plaintive tenor similar to Arthur Russell, and the lyrics and melodies are still rather melancholic, only now they’re built around a beat you can dance to.

“I did the majority of it at home, pretty intensely alone,” Maine said. “I live with my girlfriend, so it wasn’t completely solitary, but I definitely go into this zone. Then once the songs are kind of hashed out, I would take them to band practice and figure out how to play them live.”

Maine’s girlfriend is Greta Kline of the band Frankie Cosmos. Maine played drums for Kline’s band and in return, Kline contributes backing vocals and bass on Porches’ albums, including “Pool.”

“I think her vocals are really special,” Maine said. “I like singing with her, and I like how our voices sound together.”

Both Porches and Frankie Cosmos are having a breakout year, which has led to unfortunate consequences.

“We had to stop playing in each other’s bands because we got too busy,” Maine said of Kline. “She’s inspiring; I admire her as an artist. It’s cool living together and figuring this out together.”

Although “Pool” is essentially a solo effort, the rest of the band did record some drum and guitar tracks with producer Chris Coady, which Maine then brought back to his apartment to work into his recordings.

(Read a review of "Pool" by Empire of Sound columnist Joshua Peacock.)

With the album complete and drawing rave reviews, it’s time for the band to take the new songs on the road. But how do Porches, essentially a guitar band, transport the music from a lonely living room to the Savannah Stopover stage?

“There are some more elements now,” Maine said. “There’s another keyboard and there’s a bass on some songs that sounds really good, and the drummer has an SPD sample pad that takes care of some of the electronic drums that are on the record.

“It doesn’t sound exactly like the record, but it sounds more exciting — somewhere between a five-piece rock band and what’s on the record.”

“I’m definitely excited,” Maine continued. “I was thinking about it yesterday, that this will be the first time we play these songs. We’ve played a handful of them live for a while now, but it will be the first time people will have had a chance to listen to the record and maybe come out with a favorite song and be excited to hear it live. That’s always what’s up. It’s exciting to go to a show and hear the songs live that you’ve been listening to on your own, rather than just hearing new material.”

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