Seven years after Porter Robinson’s ingenious and incredible album Worlds, the Atlanta-born producer delivers his sophomore album Nurture.
After Worlds, under the pressure of his success, Porter began to experience severe anxiety to a degree that was creatively crippling. He was smothered by his own self-criticism and high expectations. A vicious cycle began to take hold—the more Porter struggled to write, the more his sense of self unraveled, leaving him in a state of despair.
Porter began to claw himself out of his creative slump little by little. He experimented with different sounds and ultimately came up with Virtual Self, a rave like sound that unsurprisingly produced some incredible pieces.
Porter slowly returned to his piano like sound, which evolved into what we have today. This iteration of Porter’s sound stands starkly in contrast to his prior productions as it blends live instruments, digital synths, artificially pitched vocals, chopped samples and cozy ambience. The vocals amplify Porter’s journey over the years, with the many ups and downs that came with it.
“This album came about during a period of intense creative and emotional struggle. I had structured my life around the expectation that the only thing that made me happy was writing music. But it was exactly that obsession and imbalance that made writing music an impossibility for me for years. I wanted it too much, was highly self-critical, and I was so scared that I wouldn’t ever be able to write music again. And the more desperate I became to write music, the harder it became.” Says Porter. “Only by accepting that I might never be able to do it again, and by embracing and trying to find happiness in aspects of life outside of music, was I able to slowly claw my way into being able to do it again. And on the other side of all this fear and anxiety, I found this life-giving sort of light and beauty. I felt a gratitude towards real life that I used to only feel towards fiction.”
The album as a whole is an amazing time, with plenty of notable interludes and vocal filled treats. Fans of both Porter and music in general are sure to have this on repeat upon release. Although the package is a great illustration of Robinson, the day one album experience could have been greater. With arguably the best music already been digested, it is hard to get excited for something in which the best is not attractive anymore. Yet, this is an amazing body of work and is sure to grow stronger with time.
Celebrating the launch of the album, Porter’s Secret Sky will return April 24th. This year’s lineup, curated by Porter, features artists from across the world including Baauer, Boys Noize, End of the World, Imanu B2B Buunshin, James Ivy, Kero Kero Bonito, Laxcity, Masakatsu Takagi, No Rome, Rezz, Salute, Serph, Swardy, Wave Racer and Yvette Young.