An established fan of Porches.’ darker, more rock fueled exploits a la Slow Dance in the Cosmos‘ “Skinny Trees” or “Permanent Loan”, I was surprised how much I dug “Leather”, the new single from Ronald Paris, the pseudonym for Aaron Maine’s most recent project featured on a cassette split with Mdou Moctar. It’s almost an alarming gentle turn for the Maine.
Aaron Maine’s normal pseudo-stream of consciousness songwriting is focused and tightened a bit, each word presented with evident care. It’s enough to completely miss that the Frankie Cosmos assisted track is more or less a Satanist love song. “I want to trade my jeans in for leather/I want to hold her unholy hand” Maine croons atop a fertile, synth-laden knoll. It’s oddly pleasant, with the same streak of playful but inventive songwriting Maine has established while presenting a much less straightforward kind of pop. Maine’s still rooting around in and lightening his darker narrative subjects but it’s a dramatically different approach – one’s that more or less benches the bulk of his experimental pop troupe in favor of beautiful starkness. It’s a pretty good call.
The split is currently sold out but you can listen to/download the 3 songs from the Ronald Paris side via Bandcamp.