Aaron Maine used to make experimental songs on his Casio CA-110. In 2013, he released his debut Slow Dance in the Cosmos: a collection of shimmying, lo-fi arrangements. This year he has delivered Pool.
The opening of the album is an ambient flurry of keys. The bubbling theme plays throughout the song and seems pertinent to the aqueous, ‘Underwater’ identity of the track.
‘Be Apart’ sounds like a slouchy pastiche of Crystal Castle’s ‘Untrust Us’, until the tone descends in to a dark madness. The lyrics recall a strange existential plane of absence, like the song belonged in a Beckett act, involving wordplay: ‘I will go out tonight / cause I wanna be apart / of it all’. Maine becomes a pensive spectator, taking himself away while remaining aware of his environment.
This creative endeavour reels itself through Pool. The title track includes auto-tuned vocals to put you in to the ‘slow motion’ and dreamlike doze, and is concerned with being left alone. ‘Shaver’ is a song which begins ‘I made / my face / smooth for you’, leading to a strange declaration of a romantic blend which is addressed towards the listener and ‘her’ who walks ‘through the room’.
‘Shape’ wobbles in, with oscillating deep notes. The song descends in to a collapsing dream and blank madness after the lyrics ‘I’m only real / in my longing / down low to be.’ The poignant arpeggio chimes above the rumbles of the fluctuating bass. The final track on Pool is ‘Security’. It is melancholic in character and has an R&B accent. By the end of this tribulation, Maine seeks sanctuary.
Pool is eloquently about self-destruction and detachment. The use of elusive lyrics would usually be overly quirky, but Porches evokes emotion by loosening himself from the persona in the songs and binding you to where his shadow is.