If you’re reading this, I hope you also get to experience the same chills I got when I first heard ‘Lifelike,’ the opening track to Porter Robinson’s highly anticipated sophomore album, ‘Nurture.’ Instantly, it was like being welcomed home into an album bursting with beauty and hope, surrounded by piano notes exploding into strings and synths. ‘Nurture’ could not be a more accurate title for this album, as it truly feels like food for the soul. I felt safe, I felt comforted, but mostly, I felt reassured – and with Porter Robinson’s signature, almost other-worldly sound, I enjoyed the journey of contemplation that accompanied each and every track.
To me, there’s no way to talk about Porter Robinson without acknowledging the emotion or reflection that his music brings – it has this magical quality to it that truly makes you the main character of your own musical universe, and ‘Nurture’ is no exception to this rule. But this album has a quietness, perhaps peacefulness, that’s hard to put into words – there’s a level of vulnerability on this album that we’ve never seen before. It feels like Porter is letting us in at another level, an experience riddled with choppy cutouts of interrupted thoughts, the repetition of soothing sounds over and over again, and an isolated piano that snaps you out of the track almost as quickly as you dived into it. This is an album filled with sound that’s as multifaceted as humans are themselves, filled with moments of highs and lows all coexisting at the same time.
Porter has totally and utterly let go on ‘Nurture,’ and that’s exactly what makes it special. You can still be happy and make good art and be riddled with anxiety and never really know if you’re good enough – all at the same time – because existing is merely enough. And that’s what this album feels like – existing, flailing, rejoicing, and stumbling your way through life. Sometimes it’s a complicated, beautiful mess, like in ‘Wind Tempos.’ Other times, it’s a triumphant whirlwind, like in ‘Musician.’ And most of it is just being grateful to be alive – as ‘Look at the Sky’ says, Look at the sky, I’m still here / I’ll be alive next year. I keep singing those lyrics over and over again in my head, mostly because they give me so much hope – and if Porter had any goals with this album, I think it was to give people just that.