I saw Porches play at during CMJ during an Ad Hoc show hosted at a car wash. They were one of several bands playing at an event which was seemed like the pinnacle of Brooklyn hipsterdom, from the pop-up location, to the food trucks parked on site. the novelty of the event quickly faded when it became apparent why people don’t have shows in car washes more often: the sound was horrible, leaving the singers of the various bands inaudible. Of all the bands on the bill, Porches were the only ones who made the situation work, their melancholy indie-pop unscathed. They’ve been on my list of bands to pay attention to ever since, but with their new video for “Hour” now everyone has the chance to see their magic firsthand.
The song features porches front-man Aaron Maine harmonizing with Porches ex-basset Great Kline (who left to focus on her Frankie Cosmos) over some synth lines. It sounds like driving home at night, and fittingly the video shows Kline and Maine (who are dating irl) driving around the suburbs illuminated by various neon lights, eventually hopping in the pool. It sounds and looks like something that would soundtrack a modern version of The Virgin Suicides. The song explores the same kind of crush that the film covered, one on a seemingly distant woman. In the Virgin Suicides it was the blond Lisbon sisters that caught the fascination of the neighborhood adolescent boys. In the song, the crusher is Maine and the crushie is Kline.
When Maine sings turning to his twin bed during his loner hour, Kline disappears from the front seat of the car. Later during the second chorus the couple croon “In my stoner hour, how i float,” before Main Breaks out alone to finish “just wondering about her.” While Kline is present at the front seat, Maine doesn’t look or acknowledge her. She’s there, yet far away, just like the Lisbon girls. The result reminds of the terrible gulf of loneliness that you can sometimes feel even while hanging out with other people.
The song’s synth-leaning direction is a fresh one for Maine, who says he’s moving the way from the idea that Porches is a “Rock Band.” Good move dude. Give me an album full of songs like this with aesthetically-minded videos to match and I can throw several melancholy dance parties in my apartment this winter.
Watch the video above, and read an adorable Fader profile on Aron Maine and Great Kline’s bands and relationship here.