Photo courtesy of Ground Control Touring
One of my favorite albums of the decade we're winding down is Pool, a 2016 release by New York-based electro-pop charmer Aaron Maine, who records as Porches. Contrasting soft, fumy stoner moods with dance music so sharp it seems etched in moonlight, Maine crafted a record that was somehow subdued and urgent at once, equally suitable for getting ready to go out clubbing or sinking into a beanbag chair with a hookah afterward. The chiaroscuro palette carries through in his synths and basses, the former high and shimmering, the latter low and black as pitch, creating an impression of ink tumbling and twisting through vast waters, now turbulent, now still. Somewhere in the center is his discreetly louche voice, its just-woke-up languor adding to the songs' sexiness and sensitivity alike. The House, the album he released this year, trades Pool's taut arc for more of a dreamy sprawl, but it still flickers ambiguously between pre- and post-coital vibes, between the bedroom and the dance floor. With Girl Ray.