Helpless infatuation and devastating loss are the twin extremes that Front Porch Step (a.k.a. Jake Mcelfresh) explores on his debut album, Aware. Echoes of everyone from Hayden to David Bazan and Dashboard Confessional can be heard here, though this Ohio-rooted artist’s guileless vocals and minimalist acoustic settings are distinctly his own. Mcelfresh combines a punk rocker’s intensity with a classic singer/songwriter’s craftsmanship. From the yearning of the title track to the rapture of “If I Tremble” and the rage of “Island of the Misfit Boy,” Aware’s raw honesty is never less than convincing.