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Video Vault Episode 57: Porches – “Prism”

I first discovered Porches through a burned CD someone left in my glove box a few summers ago. The only other record I had in the car was Blonde on Blonde, and I’d listened to it on repeat for so many weeks that I figured the wisest move was to listen to something else. So I ejected Bob and put the mysterious CD in the deck. This decision bred a new musical infatuation. I became enamored by the ways in which Porches mainstay Aaron Maine explored the symbiotic merging of perspectives, sounds, and histories.

Acoustic guitars were paired with grimy, bass-heavy drum machines; folksy harmonicas hummed alongside analog synths. To me, it felt like someone thirty years in the past interpreting what music might sound like in the distant future.

Maine’s self-referential lyrics described intimate or romantic scenes, but were imbued with a semiotic awareness that propelled the everyday into the surreal. Characters mentioned on early recordings resurfaced to make late appearances. The concept of self shifted, reversed, and took on a new name. After multiple listens, simple love songs became audible Rorschachs.

In the last year or so, Porches’ output has progressed from the bedroom to the dance floor. Their latest release, Ronald Paris House comes to us via Terrible Records (Solange, Le1f, Kindness, Dev Hynes etc.), and is an amalgam of late-night poetry and minimalist club beats. Check out the grainy, VHS-recorded video for “Prism” below.

-Jonah

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