On Porches' third full-length album, The House, Aaron Maine digs deeper into the warm glow that made 2016's Pool a thoughtfully danceable record for lonesome introverts. With its bare, metallic beats, The House has a more sullen and reflective mood than its predecessor, while providing further insight into Maine's meditative tendency to slow life down.
Maine gently sings, "I think I'll stay inside / If you don't think that they'd mind / I can't let it find me," over a pulsating club beat on "Find Me." What "it" is is never explicit, but the fear and anxiety appears to be overcome or at least accepted on the dance-heavy track, with its repetitive, digitized saxophone and squeaky vocal samples. Using similar tactics on "Goodbye," Maine wails, "I slip into a cold lake / Now I just feel it slip away into a light that I once knew / I swim deep and thought of you," before the gorgeous piano introduction bleeds into an obstinate dance song with wiry synth lines, juxtaposing Maine's introspective lyrics with blissful instrumentation.
"Country," the album's lead single, which also features guest vocals from Blood Orange's Dev Hynes, is driven by Maine's impassive croon, like he's deciphering a lingering memory and feeling satisfaction from his resolve. The House is broken up with several other short, sub-two minute vignettes — Maine's dad's vocals are Auto-Tuned on the love-infused "Understanding," and on "Åkeren" Okay Kaya recites a Norwegian poem about Ricky and Julie, two romantic personas who appear throughout the album.
Maine's ability to draw out peculiar emotions and thoughtfully pairing them with euphoric sounds in a deliberate way makes The House a natural and more than satisfying sequel to Pool. (Domino)