Front Porch Step: Everything You’re Missing from the Acoustic-Emo Bands You Loved in Middle School


We were all there: Secondhand Serenade, Dashboard Confessional, The Early November, The Spill Canvas—you get the idea. All those dudes we adored throughout our middle school years, the bands and artists that got us through our first break ups and any other drama associated with finding yourself as a 15 year old with nothing better to do. Many of us have since moved past those days, but me, I am still stuck there. And because of this, I’d like to add an artist to my growing list of “bad-day-bands.” His name is Jake Mcelfresh, and he performs his music under the name of Front Porch Step. Less than a year ago, Jake released his first full-length album, titled Aware. I was a little late getting a hold of this gem, just happening to stumble across it during a Spotify-binge sometime over the summer, but I am so glad I found it. While his music is nothing extremely earth-shattering or unheard of, there’s something about his style and passion—which he brings to each track on the album and to each of his performances—that is unique.

To help capture what it is I am trying to convey, take a look at this in-home cover of one of my favorite songs of his, “Island of the Misfit Boy”. He posted the video on Youtube well over a year before signing on with Pure Noise Records and releasing his first album.

On the surface, it may at first seem like the quintessential “disturbed young dude with a cheap guitar and no professional training slamming away at four chords on a guitar while punishing his vocal cords,” but—while that may actually be fairly accurate—there is just something else there about Jake that screams he is hurt and singing is what he does to fix that. No matter what kind of music you’re into, there’s definitely something to be said for someone who honestly needs his or her music as an essential form of release.


Since signing on with Pure Noise and releasing his album, Jake has seen some definitive improvements in the means and outlets with which he can distribute and perform his music that do not involve his mom’s living room. Check out an awesome performance of his track “Drown” on an Audiotree Live session here:

The bottom line is this: if you are stuck in a rut, coming out of a difficult relationship, having trouble catching that guy or girl of your dreams, or just in one of those inexplicable bad moods, give Front Porch Step a chance. Hell, if you’re in an amazing mood give him a listen (he’s got a couple tracks, “Lullaby” for example, that are indeed upbeat and optimistic). Front Porch Step is a very refreshing, slightly more mature reminder of all the things we used to love about those acoustic emo bands that just seemed to understand us all at some of our most seemingly vulnerable times.


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