Reflecting on the past has always been one of the more important parts of music to me, and that’s exactly what the vibe seems to be on Porchlight the newest album from Basins. The group was formed by Shane Haworth and Tommy Sandri two years ago in Seattle. They have a lo-fi indie sound as well as heavy alt-country instrumentation, mostly in the form of a banjo. This album is all about looking back on where you came from and recognizing that life is uncertain.
For me, listening to Porchlight was an easygoing, dreamy experience. The band describes the writing process as “natural and organic”, as all the songs blend perfectly into each other with dreamy interludes and quiet, distorted samples in between. It’s as if the music goes out of focus for a while, yet remains lissful and hypnotic.
I quickly started drifting off when I listened to it for the first time, daydreaming and drifting from memory to memory. The melodic banjo throughout made me think of Freelance Whales, another indie band that uses folk instrumentation. My favorite track has to be “Spiders,” a slow poppy song that’s big on vocals. I love the lo-fi background ambience and how it creates the illusion of being in a large open space.
What really stood out to me was the production and the dynamics on this album. The lo-fi effects and reverb, as well as use of multiple vocalists, creates a warm roomy atmosphere that blends well with their themes of identity and change. There’s some catchy moments and upbeat choruses all throughout as well, especially on the track “Pt. I.”
Overall, Porchlight by Basins is a moving, thoughtful album filled with musical talent. Listening to it felt like watching old home movies or seeing old family pictures. It reminds me that change is constantly going to happen, but I can look back on the person I used to be and remember that things can get better.
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