Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Porij strike a balance between club-feeling highs and lyrical vulnerability on new EP ‘Outlines’

Hailing from Manchester, and rocketing from RNCM student status to 6 music regulars in 2020, art-pop foursome Porij have shown their talent for fusing dance and rock since bursting onto the scene. The group are part of the next generation of indie dance groups. Standing amongst the likes of Self Esteem and Emma-Jean Thackray, the group have been born out of acts like Hot Chip and, even further back, the likes of Primal Scream or Fellow Mancunian’s Happy Mondays.

On their new EP ‘Outlines’ the band push forward the dance-rock sounds of their Manchester forefathers Shaun Ryder and Bez as they trade baggy clothes for suits and drawl vocals for the sweet staccato sounds of singer Eggy whilst preferring heavy drum and bass over bez's infamous maracas.

‘Outlines’ offers perhaps the most well-rounded club experience out of any of the band's recent works, as the dance influence grows across the record to crescendo with a full-on rave feel. While previous tracks like ‘Can’t Stop’ have flirted with the dance side of production, ‘Outlines’ as an EP takes this head-on. The title track opens with a trap and EDM-inspired instrumental and its heavy bass prepares the listener for the evolution across the rest of the EP.

‘Automatic’ is a balanced infusion of bass with the band's typical future-pop stamp, with lyrics to match the club elements of the track. Listening to this in a club might really make you feel like falling in love on the dancefloor as Eggy lilts in a dance rhythm with the lyrics “Automatic / Pulling close to you / So magnetic I want you”. This first half of the EP really emphasises Porij's position at the forefront of a new generation of indie dance, following the likes of Hot ChipTotally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Cassius.

The second half of the EP takes things up a notch. ‘Lose Our Minds’ goes full garage on its production and, featuring a wobbly, syncopated bassline, heavy percussion and piano house influences, is an ultimate noughties throwback. Contrasting the club bounce, the track is lyrically one of the most vulnerable of the band's entire discography, exploring the confusion and emotional turmoil of the addictiveness of a toxic relationship.

The EP closes with drum and bass banger ‘Figure Skating’: the drums drive this track, which wouldn’t feel lost in a Calibre set. In fact, Eggy’s supple voice is perfectly suited to the emotion and euphoria of liquid DnB. The sounds on this track show a musical journey, in which the band are continuing to experiment and be influenced by sounds across the spectrum from indie to dubstep, pop to jungle – a journey which is only just beginning.


Annie Hackett


Image: ‘Outlines’ official EP cover

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