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Porches, Girl Ray, Kevin Krauter

  • High Noon Saloon 701 East Washington Avenue Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

A post-punk/dream-pop group from Pleasantville, New York, Porches released their third LP, The House, in January of 2018. Compared to 2016's Pool, this latest album is more of an acquired taste. The House still has Porches' distinct combination of upbeat, electronic rhythms and soothing, echoey melodies, but Pool had a sense of progressive movement that is largely absent in this new release. The House, instead, conveys a sense of containment and lingering; it feels personal and experimental yet refined. It strays from Porches' typical formula with two shorter tracks, "Understanding" and "Swimmer" (each about a minute long), which break up the momentum of the surrounding tracks.

The album also includes collaborations with Alex Giannascoli (aka (Sandy) Alex G), who sings the album opener "Leave The House"; Kaya Wilkins (Okay Kaya) singing "Åkeren," a song translated into Norwegian; and Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) on "Country." Porches still use auto-tuned vocals here to complement their synth sounds, especially on "W Longing." However, singer and producer Aaron Maine also reaches for greater vocal purity on this record, an effort that yields triumphant results on "Now The Water." The House blends the rawness found in Porches' earlier work with Maine's honed production style, leaving the listener to dwell in the hollow spaces between surges of sonic and emotional weight. —Katie Richards