“We’ve always felt like what we do is political in that it’s cathartic and healing in some way, but at some point it just felt like making ‘political’ music was a bit like putting a tiny band aid on an enormous wound,” says Rachel Aggs (vocals, guitar), as she describes the sense of disorientation that lies at the foundation of the album. While it may have been tempting to adopt a more serious tone, Shopping remained humorous in their approach — the album’s title (established before any of the songs were written), The Official Body, is a play on the idea of official bodies of power and control, “the mystical powers that be” as Billy Easter (bass) deems them, as well as the construct of a physical body that fits within the societal paradigm of what is “acceptable.”
Along with the announcement, the band share new video for The Hype, a song about thinking for yourself, taking matters into your own hands and not listening to other people or institutions that try to take advantage and tell you what to think or how to be.
The band say of it, “It’s a wake up call to action that says don’t believe everything you hear, always question whats presented to you and don’t just sit around and think about making change before it’s too late.”
Rachel Aggs (guitar/vocals) adds, “But it’s also a party song! We liked offsetting the serious, dead-pan lyrics with the relaxed yet self-assured funk of the song itself, we had a lot of fun writing it – it has a guitar solo and everything! I always wanted to do a song with a drum and bass breakdown section where the guitar drops out too, I find that part so satisfying.”
The House, the third full-length album from New York-based musician Porches (a.k.a Aaron Maine), will arrive on January 19 via Domino Records. The 14-song affair features contributions from (Sandy) Alex G, Dev Hynes, Okay Kaya, Maya Laner (True Blue), Bryndon Cook (Starchild & The New Romantic), Cameron Wisch (Cende), and Maine’s own father Peter Maine.
The House was written and recorded over an 18-month stretch, immediately following the completion of Porches’ breakthrough record Pool. Taking a diary-like approach, Aaron documents a period of time through the 14 gorgeous songs on this record.
Says Aaron Maine, on The House: “The House is a diary. The House began immediately with a sense of urgency. A different kind of urgency than I had experienced previously when writing songs. I wasn’t sure exactly what this meant while it was happening, but it felt necessary to embrace it.
The songwriting became an exercise in documenting my immediate experiences, which writing has always been for me to a certain extent, but something particular was compelling me to try to portray these moments in a more linear way. Writing this record was a form of meditation, an escape, a routine – selfish at times, as it became an excuse to avoid my immediate surroundings.
Half the time, I still won’t understand what was going on in my head when I listen to a song I wrote – even months later – but things seemed to be changing fast, and writing these kind of vignettes was soothing to me, a way to kind of slow down time. I don’t think I was necessarily working through anything during the process of writing, if anything maybe avoiding that, but the album has become something different to me in hindsight: a way to look back at a time in my life and see my guts at play. To try and understand what was going through my head as I slid these songs out is an interesting experience, sometimes exciting, sometimes embarrassing, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes still totally confusing. I am happy to have these 14 songs in one place to look back on and stumble through and hopefully learn something from, and I am excited to share them with you.”
Today, Porches shares the album’s second single Find Me, an icy track with lyrics touching on anxiety, escape and isolation. Watch the video, co-directed by Maine and Nick Harwood, up top.
Fans were offered a glimpse into The House recently, with the release of Country – a melancholic, tender ballad showcasing Maine’s confident songwriting. The accompanying video, shot in upstate New York and co-directed again by Maine & Harwood, can be viewed here.
Sleigh Bells – the Brooklyn, NY-based duo comprised of vocalist Alexis Krauss and producer/guitarist Derek Miller – have today shared new track Rainmaker, the second single from their forthcoming mini-LP Kid Kruschev due out November 10 on the band’s own Torn Clean label.
Following on the heels of the dark, meditative And Saints, Rainmaker marks a return to the band’s block-party influences, mixing a subtly eq’d sampling of the classic The Soul Searchers “Ashley’s Roachclip” breakbeat (made famous in Eric B & Rakim’s “Paid In Full”), with layers of gritty head-rush instrumental immersion, careening guitars, pep rally stomps and Krauss’s urgent, crystalline vocals to glorious effect.
Says Miller about the song: “Some of you might recognize the main synth/chord progression of ‘Rainmaker’ from the trailer we made for Reign of Terror back in 2011. I’ve always loved those chords…only took me six years to find the right spot for them. I’ve also been dying to sample the Soul Searchers ‘Ashley’s Roachclip’ break, which is up there with Funky Drummer in my humble opinion (Miss you, Clyde). I think the two speak to each other, puts me in a good place. And of course I really, really love Alexis’s vocal which sounds desperate in the best way.”
Kid Kruschev is out November 10 via Lucky Number across Europe and the band’s own label, Torn Clean, in the US.