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Porches is a solo alias of synth-centric indie singer/songwriter Aaron Maine, though at times Porches has functioned as a band. The project emerged in the early 2010s with a '90s alt-rock-derived sound that was centered on guitars and drums but also introduced spacy electronics and Maine's conspicuously yearning vocals. By its second album, 2016's Pool, Porches had settled into what would become its trademark sound: brooding, spacious, highly stylized synthesizer songs -- though he meshed the two on the more chaotic fifth full-length All Day Gentle Hold! in 2021. While the project is mostly self-recorded, Maine's collaborators have included the likes of Frankie Cosmos, Alex G, Mitski, and Devonté Hynes. Porches began in 2010 in Maine's hometown of Pleasantville, New York, when, after touring briefly with his first band, Space Ghost Cowboys (originally called Aaron Maine & the Reilly Brothers), he started making four-track recordings of experiments with a Casio CA-110. As Porches, he released three EPs in 2011: Summer of Ten, Je T'aime, and Scrap & Love Songs Revisited. Maine relocated to Manhattan the following year. In the summer of 2013, record label Exploding in Sound issued Porches' first full-length release, Slow Dance in the Cosmos, which offered a more standard indie rock palette. A year later, he released an EP as alter ego Ronald Paris (pronounced the French way) that focused more on atmosphere. After gathering a sizable fan base, particularly in response to live shows across the New York City area, Porches signed with Domino in 2015. The label released his sophomore long-player, Pool, in early 2016. While retaining a characteristically downcast tone, it represented a move to full-on indie electronica. Essentially a home recording by Maine, Pool was mixed by Chris Coady (Beach House, !!!) and featured guest vocals by prior collaborator Greta Kline (Frankie Cosmos). The companion EP Water followed later in 2016, and Coady returned to mix third album House in 2017. It featured a longer list of contributors, including but not limited to Blood Orange's Devonté Hynes and Alex Giannascoli (Alex G). Still with Domino, Porches returned with Ricky Music in 2020. Co-produced by Jacob Portrait (Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Blouse), its guests included Mitski, Zsela, and, again, Hynes. Delving back into pop-punk and grunge influences, which he blended into Porches' by that time well-established keyboard-and-drum-machine sound, the home-recorded All Day Gentle Hold! was intended to cut through the monotony of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2021.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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