by Kelly Yap
Truly one of the most digitally artful DJs I know of, Porter Robinson is known for his vocals (both traditional or using Vocaloid) and soothingly upbeat synth-pop tracks. In his latest Secret Sky Festival, he celebrates the arrival of Nurture, his first new album in 7 years. For background, “Secret” Sky Festival is a digital version (due to the pandemic) of Porter’s preexisting “Second” Sky Festival, launched in 2019.
Now, let’s talk about the beginning of Porter’s set, which introduces projections of stray white lines traveling in the background, blinking on beat with the first song, “Something Comforting.” Slowly, images of the sky begin floating around the setup as we watch Porter play the piano. Throughout the performance, we continue to see these lines mix in with images of bright, lush scenes of nature and sky, perfectly representing the mood of Nurture.
One of the coolest things I’ve experienced during these festivals is that you can watch the performance through a digital world with bright green hills, ponds, and blue skies (almost like a Genshin world aesthetic). Similar to a video game, you can move around using a default character to check out sponsors, or simply experience the festival in ways that are impossible to recreate in real life. You can also watch virtually with friends using a unique URL.
More like MY WIG! The vocals layered into the production feel intense and immersive, and the chorus is a total earworm. But lyrically, this song is the laziest because they beat that chorus like a DEAD HORSE! However, her use of medical terminology in the lyrics is brilliant because it reflects a connection with a lover. Bleeding out feels far favorable to being separated from this lover.
His choice of songs was excellent, mixing fan favorites with new ones that recently dropped. He seamlessly transitioned between normal vocals and Vocaloid, which I was nicely surprised to hear, since everything was live-edited. Watching him perform, you could really feel the emotion and love that went into creating this album, which was inspired by his girlfriend, Rika, who helped “nurture” him in times when he wasn’t able to do so himself. I definitely recommend watching his set on his Youtube channel. My favorite part was when he performed “Blossom,” a song specially dedicated to Rika, and it was a tear-jerker (well, for me at least!).
Overall, I definitely recommend watching any of Porter’s festivals, both digital and live, and coincidentally, he’s having an in-person Second Sky Festival this year (though subject to change due to pandemic safety)! You can check out presale tickets here: https://secondskyfest.com/ starting May 5th, 2021.
Also, here’s the link to the recorded performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THjekE5p2aw&t=3409s
Let us know your thoughts about it in the comments below!
Have you listened to Flowers for Vases / descansos? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.