Porches, not to be confused with Sydney electro outfit Porsches, is the name of the melancholic synth-driven project from Aaron Maine.
The New Yorker has been releasing music under this moniker for the past five years, and his latest album Pool has been eagerly anticipated by music critics and fans across the globe.
“I recorded demos for a year and a half and then I started over, so I think it took about seven months after that to mix it and finish it,” Maine says. “I worked on Pool basically every day for those seven months. I get pretty immersed in the whole recording process. I recorded 90 per cent of it in my apartment in New York, and I did some of the live tracks – the drums and vocals – at a friend’s studio.”
Porches isn’t the only moniker under which Maine works. He uses the alias Ronald Paris to release a style of music that is much more experimental than that of Porches, relishing in the freedom that another pseudonym can provide.
“I think it feels good to work on different projects using a name as a clean slate,” says Maine. “When I want something to be set aside from everything else, it helps me to do it under a different name. I called the project Porches five years ago and I don’t remember why. I don’t think there was ever any significance in it, I just liked how it sounded and looked at the time.”
Maine’s musical inspirations aren’t exactly what you’d expect – they differ greatly to the sounds he produces under the Porches label. “I grew up listening to a lot of The Beatles. My mum would listen to Annie Lennox, Steely Dan and a lot of classical music. In my teens I listened to a heap of The Strokes. These artists definitely influenced the direction of my own music, probably more melodically than anything else. I guess we all subconsciously regurgitate these things in a way.”
Only three weeks ago, Pitchfork named ‘Be Apart’ as its Best New Track for the week – a feat that would excite even the most accomplished of artists. The song, which was mixed by Chris Coady in LA, has been described as one of the more upbeat creations from Maine, who tends to revel in the more sombre confines of a sound.
“I do tend to pay attention to reviews, for better or for worse. I was so excited when I read that Pitchfork article. I’m a bit discerning when I read reviews, but with something like that I have a hard time not reading it, and because it was under the title Best New Track, I figured that they would more than likely have something nice to say.”
‘Be Apart’ is the latest song to be released from the upcoming album, and is accompanied by a cleverly constructed film clip from director Daniel Brereton. The video pans around a mansion, providing snapshots into the lives of its residents – it makes even the most everyday actions like vacuum cleaning look eloquent and artistic.
“Daniel Brereton is amazing,” Maine says. “The label actually suggested that we work with him while we were in London. It was a crazy thing to be making the video clip in London, but it turned out to be amazing. Brereton and I collaborated and I think he really understood what I was going for. It was such a treat.
“We only had one day to shoot it, so I knew that it had to be shot at one strong location so we weren’t wasting time running between places. I had a basic idea of what we wanted for the video, so I sent him a bunch of references and then he came back to me with a timeline with some more specific scenarios. It ended up being a pretty solid collaboration.”
Another notable partnership is that between Maine and his girlfriend Frankie Cosmos (AKA Greta Simone Kline), whose vocals feature heavily on the latest Porches release. “Frankie Cosmos was in the band while I was making the album, and she’s probably featured more than any other guest,” Maine explains. “It’s nice that Frankie and I have that two-way collaboration. We live together and are constantly bouncing ideas off each other; the constructive criticism between us is such a good thing. A lot of the time we are so busy, and that can be really stressful, especially when both of us are dealing with the more stressful parts of a career in music, but it’s also really great support.”
Maine isn’t entirely sure about what the future holds for the Porches project, but this is no cause for concern – not when he has the freedom to switch between monikers and wipe the slate clean.
“I imagine that the next album I do will be under the Porches title, but maybe in between that time there will be something else by Ronald Paris, perhaps something a little more experimental. I’ve been recording a lot since finishing the album and I have a pile of songs accruing. Once you make a batch of songs it’s easy to know where they belong, whether it’s Porches, Ronald Paris or something else.”