The Greta Kline (Frankie Cosmos) and Aaron Maine super-indie-couple have nurtured a slowly expanding cult following with a growing portfolio of artsy, New York styled indie pop that Ezra Koenig probably loves. Porches’ latest record Pool consolidates this reputation with a series of middle-tempo, synth infused tracks, but without really offering anything groundbreaking.
Pool does represent a relative departure from the art school feel of previous work, with the album largely pivoting on invariably hooky 80s pop synths. ‘Be Apart’ is the best example of this, as well as being the strongest single and radio-friendly material on the album. Its hook digs into your head after multiple listens and the smart ‘Be Apart’ refrain echoes the themes of social hesitancy that circulate in other Cosmos/Maine work.
The production and vocals are consistently slick on Pool and the slower tracks, especially ‘Mood’, are reminiscent of a slightly straightjacketed Beach House. The album was mixed by Chris Coady (Beach House, Future Islands) and as such dream pop elements noticeably seep into the record.
The album is guilty of a little samey throughout its run, and despite the excellent ‘Car’ – a stand out track alongside ‘Be Apart’ – the best material on Pool is stacked at the front-end of the LP, giving it the feel of a slightly overextended EP rather than a fleshed-out record.
“Porches” and “Pool” are terms that evoke feelings of warm, endless summers, and whilst this is a solid and consistent LP that builds and expands on previous projects, it is not something that is likely to bring out any stronger feelings than this relative warmth.