North Pointe Now

Pool provides refreshing listening experience

Photo credit: www.pitchfork.com

By Abbey Cadieux, Assistant Editor

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Rating: 4 stars

There’s a certain odd feeling that comes with driving down a mysteriously vacant cityscape just after dark. Indie pop band Porches’ newest album, Pool, encaptures that exact scene. For listeners looking for something to play while cruising down lit-up streets and feeling dreamy, Pool is what they need.

With grating synth and minimalistic beats, Porches maintains an ambient feel that is still danceable. Singer Aaron Maine’s vocals seem unassuming at first listen, but when taken out of the songs’ hazy atmospheres, expose something much deeper. The messages are cryptic and graze off of repetitive, mystic noises from a variety of instruments.

On the fuzzy, downbeat track “Glow,” distorted melodies create a vibe that immediately veils listeners. Think of the psychedelic, jangly sounds that decorate Mac Demarco’s album Salad Days, except not as goofy. Singer and bass guitarist Greta Simone Kline (Frankie Cosmos) provides an infectious bassline and highlights Maine’s swooping vocals with her own.

The most off-hand song on the album, “Shaver,” delivers a solidly moody tune that brings David Lynch-esque scenes to mind. A haunting, simplistic chorus rings in listeners’ ears along with a bitter melody. In the song, Porches samples a quick saxophone solo, briefly showing their New York roots.

Pool brings a new, refreshingly simple sound into the clichéd, ambient alternative music rabbit hole. Porches scraps the fuzz and the fuss, making for a cleaner listening experience. While the album is delicately refined, it is not empty. Aptly named, Pool is spacey, but not shallow.

Listeners who are feeling down but still groovy should turn their ears to Pool.

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