Sunday isn’t traditionally – correct me if I’m wrong here – thought of as the most funky day of the week. Sure, you might get a little strut on around lunchtime, but by about 3 o’clock you’re full of roast and just want to hibernate for a week. Basically, you wouldn’t want George Clinton slapping bass in your face on the Sabbath.
New York electro-pop prince Porches aka Aaron Maine, has a very particular own brand of funk. His songs are pop music drenched in sadness, hit singles with a side order of melancholy. His latest album Pool was released earlier this year to critical acclaim and saw him shedding the acoustic and rock side of his previous work completely.
Before this though was support act, Frankie Cosmos aka Greta Kline, who also happens to be Maine’s girlfriend and collaborator (she laid down backing vocals and some of the basslines on Pool). Her lo-fi guitar pop songs start off a bit light, feeling like that they lack a certain punch, but once they found their groove it all falls into place. She bounces through her songs, a heady mix of 50’s pop simplicity and indie guitar, with increasing energy. During one of the songs, she drags Porches up onstage, and him and the rest of the band perform a wonderful synchronised dance. A few others in the crowd perform the same moves leaving Greta confused and excited. “I didn’t think anyone outside New York knew those moves,” she quietly says, “thanks so much guys!”
Porches sidles back onto stage again half an hour later, this time accompanied by his backing band. “Thanks for coming out on this Sunday night… we’re all feeling a bit fragile,” he mumbles before launching into his set. His backing band maintain his same ice cold veneer, all looking slightly bored by proceedings. Whether this is genuine, or just part of their *image* doesn’t seem to matter to the songs, which all sound huge. The drums sound like they’re being played in a stadium, not in the tiny black sweat box of the Exchange, and the combination of keys, bass and Aaron’s choppy guitar help to make the songs sound even better than on record. The abundance of auto-tune and playful synths, but juxtaposed with his mournful vocals make songs like ‘Be Apart’ and ‘Hour’ sound like your average pop song has been dismantled and put together again by Robert Smith.
As the pit of bodies fervently dancing (and the boy singing along like his life depended on it) will attest, Porches officially made Sunday night funky.
Check out Porches’ ‘Be Apart’ right here: