As ascents go, Aaron Maine’s has been steady if a little unexpected. While slightly surprising, it’s hardly undeserved; his ability as a songwriter shone throughout 2013’s Slow Dance In The Cosmos, an album that melded guitar and synth into gleefully offbeat pop with middling results. Pool, Porches’ first effort for Domino, is perhaps the record it should have been. As opening track ‘Underwater’ beautifully unfurls, the confidence from its creator is striking in comparison to what has come before. In retrospect, the subtle signs of promise had been foreshadowed in the sporadic singles – ‘Prism’ and ‘Leather’ – that crept into view in the intervening years however neither of those sported the restraint nor allure that oozes from this long player as it progresses. This time, Aaron Maine positions his grooves front and centre. While not exactly primed for the dance floor, tracks such as ‘Glow’ and ‘Mood’ are the result of slinking bass lines and cascading synths wrestling with darker undertones, lending the album a sense of captivating uneasiness. Despite insisting “I want to be a part/apart of it all”, Pool is still the output of a figure struggling to settle in a new city. Much is made of Maine’s cathartic approach to songwriting; “feeling better was making a song,” he remarks within the album’s press release. If this meticulous process continues to result in brave, beguiling records such as this one, long may it continue.
Buy: Porches – Pool