Combining the intensity of Joni Mitchell with the intimacy of Paul Simon and obscurity of Kate Bush, AJ Porter is breeding a brand of folk meets pop in modern society. Beginning his career as a solo artist in 2020, Porter has a “newbie” status about him; however, this does not mean he is completely void of musical experience. In fact, he has performed with Lucy Ward and featured on BBC East Midlands. Embracing his solo career with defiant zeal, Porter releases his moving debut single ‘Don’t Meet Your Heroes’.
At some point every person wants to meet their “heroes” whether it’s David Beckham or Billie Eilish; however, this is not always the best option as Porter points out in ‘Don’t Meet Your Heroes’. At first listen, the single is melodic, soothing and languid gracefully executed in a pretty acoustic package. Porter’s skill with a guitar is certainly evident in the simple instrumentation, but it is the compelling lyricism that really grabs one’s attention.
Touching on elements of disappointment, despair and dismay in realising childhood heroes are just normal people, Porter places existential truths at your feet. Growing up can be complicated, but when you discover that those you idolise are merely human it can be quite sad. Reminiscent of Passenger and Simon & Garfunkel, ‘Don’t Meet Your Heroes’ is filled with sincerity and raw honesty. What I find particularly intriguing about the track is its haunting quality. While Porter’s vocals are rich and bold, the simplistic obscurity of the song itself can linger long after the melody ceases.
“The song came about as an attempt to create something compelling out of an acoustic guitar and was inspired by top players like Lindsey Buckingham and Newton Faulkner. It’s about seeing your childhood heroes disappoint you on their easily accessible social media accounts in a way that you can’t choose to avoid. It’s not aggressively aimed at anyone in particular, it’s more of an observation.” – AJ Porter on ‘Don’t Meet Your Heroes’