SXSW 2016: Porches brings all the feels 

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Somehow Cheer Up Charlie’s was magically protected from the rain, or something, because their evening showcase sets Friday night were running more or less on time. (Must’ve been the parachute. Probably.)

The 1am slot had Porches on the outside stage.

This band is obviously anchored by lead singer Aaron Maine. The eyes of every other player on stage are on him almost without a break.

Maybe that’s because his stage presence felt a little volatile. On Friday Maine’s stage, his mutterings were an interesting mix of deadpan ironic gibberish.

“You dead…we dead…” he repeated more than a few times. Sound weird? Yup, it was super weird.

Thankfully his band is always smiling, seemingly entertained by it, so it lightens the mood.

 

Porches’ music waxes and wanes from sensitive and beautiful 80s guitar ballads, to prickly and abrasive guitar rock depressives.

Sometimes there’s a a yacht rock vibe, except you tune in and it turns out the lyrics are about wanting (and not wanting) to die.

But there’s a reason Porches are here. Recently signed to Domino Records, home Dirty Projectors and other rock contortionists, Porches fit right into that mold, even though Maine’s band has recently put away the guitars and opted for shimmering electronica instead.

“That was our rock set,” Maine said at the end. And it was too bad that, at least for this set, they hadn’t brought their newest material. Because Porches are a band in rapid flux.

They’ve gone from making super intense music you make when you’re at the age where you feel all the things; the kind of thing you listen to on repeat for a very brief, very intense part of your life … and then one day you stop playing it. And you won’t hear it again for 20 years.

This depressive rock stuff can be satisfying to hear, but it tends to do better in the privacy of your own home. Still, worth keeping an eye on Porches as they continue to leave their guitars behind.


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