Charlie Dahlke

Short Porch Is Gunning for New York City’s Indie Rock Crown

Robert Frezza is always highlighting the coolest, most beguiling, valiant acts (like Short Porch here) for us and we are so grateful.

Short Porch is guitarist and vocalist Sean McNulty, bassist and vocalist Jon Hunt, guitarist and vocalist Joe Mudge, keyboardist and vocalist Mary Kate Mulhauser, and drummer Joe White. Together, the quintet makes up the post grunge Brooklyn indie rock band Short Porch.

“We started off as a four piece in my loft. I reached out to one of my childhood friends Joe White who joined us on drums. He completed the package. It’s been a year and a half that we have been playing live and working on tunes. I feel very lucky that we found everybody,” says McNulty. 

The band, which blends an eighties punk sound with a nineties alternative rock ethos, are very big Yankees fans and, as their band name suggests, it’s a reference to the right-field wall that sits a mere 314 feet from home plate. “We loved the whole idea that a stadium in New York would be built with the idea of cheating to get as many home runs as possible.” It’s clear this group wanted to adhere to the grimy, yet classy New York City scene. 

Success is mounting for Short Porch as they play the indie rock underground circuit nonstop – Elsewhere, Alphaville, TV Eye, and Sultan Room are just some of the venues that they performed in. “I think we just want to play meaningful shows in New York as much as possible. It’s been a trip to see this past year and how incrementally audiences are getting bigger, and the venues are becoming bigger and bigger. We want to play meaningful shows in Brooklyn and Queens. We want to pack it out and have a crazy time. Our goal is to record music, play local shows, and stay relevant to our neighborhood,” the frontman explains. “We love playing the shows with some of our friends that are in other local acts including Two Man Giant Squid, Trophy Wife, Funsucker, and Looms. We love playing with them as we love seeing them play.”

Short Porch comes together collectively under the writing and recording processes. Usually, one member writes all the band’s lyrics, but it’s the exact opposite when the band gets together to write and jam out. He shares their collaborate, rock and roll take on creating new music: “I think we have a really unique process. It’s a democratic process. I’ll bring a skeleton of a song to somebody, and then other members will write their own parts. It builds from there. The process constantly evolves. It took a while to get used to because prior to coming together we were all used to writing on our own. Everybody brings their own taste and flavor to all our songs.”

Their shows always include the band’s first ever single, entitled “Prickle Bush,” as it was released last May and is a crowd favorite. Another staple of the band that never goes unnoticed is McNulty’s gruffy, low register, modal vocals. “I’ve always sang and written songs on my own. Most of the bands I’ve been in I have sang to some extent. This is a first time in a while I’ve been fronting a real rock band. Luckily, we have four band members that sing in the group. It adds different level of harmonies. The way I sing it naturally comes out that way. I am able to jump up to my higher register though when I want to hammer it home. It’s a really low granular voice. The band builds my confidence with it, though.”

Categorizing Short Porch’s sound isn’t easy as it’s jam-worthy, but finds itself in a dark, moody place at times both musically and lyrically speaking. The new batch of songs will be on their debut LP, The best of….Short Porch vol.1. The songs “Miami,” “Frank,” and “86” have taken on an eerie murder theme all their own. “There are three murder stories on there from all different perspectives,” says McNulty. Then, there’s ‘Circling,’ which was actually the first song that we worked on as a band and has a riff that is rooted in some rock and roll stylings that we all have been into. When we started putting that song together, it clicked, and I heard what this band could become,” McNulty admits.

Continuing, he says “‘Pennzona’ closes out the LP with serious undertones about nostalgia that cripples me on a regular basis. That song has an epic solo session with Joe Mudge at close. When you listen to the record there’s a sense of continuity and feels like an album of songs that were meant to be together. The band is really proud of how the album all came together.”