Porcelain’s ‘Part One’ was the intro. A wide weave of synthetic and organic textures that leant on triphop and thick electronica. That EP focussed on the cerebral, the embrace of the silky-slick world they create through monochrome visuals and slow shifting sounds, ‘Hollow‘ follows suit and refines. The imagery is sharpened, the soundscape more concise, there’s a sense of a focus that’s shifted away from experimentation, towards a want to deliver on promise.
‘Hollow’ is still as dystopian and bleak as anything ‘Part One’ delivered, but here the organics take over. The balance of manmade and glitched atmospherics have shifted towards string swells and scratches. It’s earthed, it sounds grounded, it’s owned. There’s more to connect with and feel to. As we move through this mix of cinematic southern gothica with its synthesised sounds second place, there’s more freedom to breathe in and wallow. This could still suit a soundtrack and credits, but now we’re deep in ethereal pop.
As the title might tell you, there’s sadness. Wasted time, lost connections, a haunting, loneliness creeps through the track. These words are delivered simply and sparse in a voice that sounds half-worn and mournful. Behind them there’s space and echoed percussion, and around them, those strings build and fall. Knowing when to be empty and when to sound full is a skill Porcelain have perfected… At times there’s almost nothing but a lingering clatter, it’s those spaces that draw you right in.
Porcelain are a fully formed product, slickly produced with a keen eye for detail that pinpoints a mood and an image. While my go-tos and tastes lie in different directions, each release leaves its well-designed mark. Music that engages and engulfs so completely deserves every praise that it gets.