Ricky Music

Ricky Music

When Aaron Maine began work on Ricky Music—his fourth LP under the Porches alias—he’d just “fallen madly in love” and just moved into an apartment in New York’s Chinatown. “I was getting acquainted to my new surroundings and new scenery and my new place, the new people I was meeting,” he tells Apple Music. “Feeling everything really intensely, like so much that I felt dizzy at times. It was a whirlwind.” Recorded almost entirely in that same apartment—with outside contributions from Mitski, Dev Hynes, Zsela, and co-producer Jacob Portrait—Ricky Music documents the span of Maine’s relationship with a set of songs that’s every bit as mercurial as new love, from ecstatic dance music to downcast punk to introspective but off-kilter pop. “I've really been thinking about this album as an offering,” he says. “Something that I really wanted to pour as much love and humor and attention and care into as I could, to really consider like the sharing part of it. I felt like this kind of fire under my ass to give people something that is really special, that hopefully they could relate to. Ricky Music is me loosening up and acting with more care and deliberation, and still being kind of a freak—and sharing that too.” Here, he walks us through the album track by track. Patience “This one definitely was a no-brainer as an opening track. I really liked the build, the idea of easing into a record and all these layers slowly coming on. It's a soft entry, and by the end I feel like you're kind of in the world [of the album]—you’re introduced to all these sounds and the drums. The lyrical content as well seems to touch on a few of the themes of the record in a way, like the overarching outline of what to expect if you listen.” Do U Wanna “That one is about is the ongoing back-and-forth between the version of you that you find fun and outgoing and confident and sociable, and the you that's manic and at home and isolating and scared to interact with anyone. It's like bullying yourself when you're frustrated. You really wish you wanted to dance and you wish you wanted to experience these things, yet you feel like it's impossible. I think you kind of put this self forward that's super excited and charged up and down to just run around into anything, and then, without fail, that other person creeps back in.” Lipstick Song “I specifically remember being in Los Angeles and I rode a Razor scooter to Sunset Boulevard, to the Sephora, and picked out a lipstick for this person and just wrote this poem about it. It's such a small gesture, but something about it felt like a good metaphor for like how you can just pack all of this meaning into the smallest thing, and kind of go into a trance. You're just so in love that the most menial task—like riding a scooter to the mall—could just be this beautiful moment. And that was what I was trying to capture: this really dramatic song about the most basic thing, like getting a small gift for someone you cared about.” PFB “There's no effort to gain any perspective or look at the bright side or step back to get a better view. It's just kind of feeling like you're in the shit and singing about it, making a song, just going crazy in my room. I don't think things were looking good that day, probably safe to say. It’s kind of nasty-sounding, but I feel like the other part of it is, you can sing along to that with a room full of people or put it on the headphones. It becomes a comforting thing rather than a hopeless thing.” I Wanna Ride “I was really into the idea of, you want to ride with someone, you want to be with someone, you want to have these experiences with someone, and at a certain point you kind of lose track. If you're pining over someone, if you step back, it's almost like you're more in love with the idea of companionship than actually assessing the situation or the person you think you're thinking about. It’s like admitting that you're more in love with the idea than reality.” Madonna “When I was first making it, the track sounded like something off Ray of Light, with these unabashed, stabbing synths. It's kind of over the top in a way that I associate with Madonna, and that was the working title, and I just stuck with it throughout. It’s about jealousy and how I find it to be the most ugly, suffocating feeling. I have to try to avoid it at all costs. I’ve tried to acknowledge that and apologize for feeling that way sometimes. I was making this kind of ecstasy song, then singing about jealousy—the opposite of ecstasy. It’s obviously a lower moment. I remember feeling like the moon was taunting me, like when everything is just ‘you piece of shit.’” I Can’t Even Think “That one I remember making in the summer when I felt like my brain was just cooking in the heat and they've been building the building directly across the street from me for like two years now and just kind of feeling a little crazy in the city, sweaty and unsettled. It’s a reflection. Like all the sounds are pretty harsh, and singing ‘everybody goes outside’: That’s the same voice asking, ‘Do you want to dance?’ Everyone else is enjoying their summer and going to the beach and soaking it up—why can't you do the same thing?” Hair “I feel like it's a nice trope, this idea of crying and sharing. We can sort of grieve together or whatever; it doesn't have to be this isolated thing. And I've always liked repeating lyrics or referencing other songs. I think it's kind of exciting when you connect the dots if you do listen to it all the way through. People call me Ron. People have called me Ronnie or Ronald, Ron, for like six years now. I refer to myself as that name maybe for the first time in a song, which felt right because it is kind of a more personal, endearing name that my friends will use for me. I think I was trying to be easy on myself and used that name to that reason.” Fuck_3 “Dev [Hynes] sings on ‘Fuck_3,’ as well as Zsela. I had them both over and they came up with those harmonies. It's so special to have these people's voices appear on the album, even if it's a background vocal or a countermelody or something like that. When I don't hear my voice and I hear the voice of someone I love, like a friend, it feels right. On ‘I Can't Even Think’ my friend Jenny sings on the chorus, and I don't think she's ever recorded herself singing. The idea for me is to portray my life and what I feel and how I experience the world and share that with people—what makes more sense than actually including the voices of the people that you spend time with and that you care about? Just to get a little bit of their essence on the album makes it feel even more personal.” Wrote Some Songs “The ultimate, zoomed-out picture of myself. If I really think about my life, and what I've dedicated it to this far, it kind of boils down to writing a bunch of songs. I sing it half with pride and half just, ‘Look at the reality, bro, you just wrote some songs, you can relax. Everyone is out there going through their own shit, going through a lot more shit than you will ever experience.’ I was trying to step out of the moment and look at it for what it is, kind of laughing at it and also feeling kind of desperate about it at the same time. It seems like a good way to end the record. Like, if you’re concerned, if you feel like this heaviness, just call it for what it is—you made an album. It's kind of comforting.” rangerover (Bonus Track) “I really wanted to put something out before the album came out ’cause it had been a long time since I had released any music and I was in New York feeling kind of crazy sitting on this album and all these new songs. It’s a bonus track but it was after the fact, after the whole Ricky Music world that I had worked on the song. There's this girl that I went to high school with named Julie that drove a Range Rover. We never dated, we were friends, but I've always thought about that car, and for that song it feels kind of romantic. Driving back from the beach is what I had in mind, summer romance coming to an end, and something about how melodramatic it all feels reminded me of myself as a teenager, when you really feel stuff in the most unjaded way and it's very romantic and colorful.”

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