Electronic artist Porter Robinson opens up about creative drought, depression on new album


Despite the positive reception of his debut album and the success of his single “Shelter,” which features a beautifully animated music video, Grammy-nominated electronic musician Porter Robinson said he couldn’t enjoy any of it. With every success, he felt less confident in himself.

With the release of his sophomore album “Nurture,” Robinson shares his fears and anxieties, creating music not for commercial success but for self-expression. The hour-long record weaves between experimental sounds and pop-influenced anthems, keeping the listener engaged until the final chord.

As the album title suggests, “Nurture” feels like an intimate, heart-wrenching embrace. While some songs are uplifting, motivational and just plain fun, others require a box of tissues to get through.

Several songs feature instrumentals or very few lyrics, relying on Robinson’s production skills to elicit the listener’s emotions. The opening track, “Lifelike,” feels like walking through a portal into a beautiful new world, while “dullscythe” is chaotic and choppy until the very end, when harmony finally appears.

Other songs on the album, like “Sweet Time” and “Blossom,” are love songs dedicated to his girlfriend, the latter an almost sickeningly-sweet and simple acoustic ballad. He sings, “If I can’t stop time / I’ll build a world where God cannot take us / There’s no need to think of time.”

Two of the most motivational songs on the album are “Look at the Sky” and “Musician.” Both upbeat tracks feature intense messages of self-reflection and personal growth. Robinson comes to terms with his self-doubt and decides staying true to himself matters most. In “Look at the Sky,” he sings, “Look at the sky, I’m still here / I’ll be alive next year / I can make something good / Something good.”

“Get Your Wish” and “Mother” are emotionally charged anthems filled with soaring synths. One focuses on finding the motivation to keep going when things seem pointless. The other is an expression of love and gratitude for his family. During the chorus of “Mother,” Robinson sings from his mother’s perspective, “I’m on your side for the rest of your life / You’ll never be alone, don’t you worry, my child.”

There are plenty more beautifully produced songs on this album, and I highly recommend listening straight through it on first listen. “Nurture” is perfect for a long drive with the windows down, a relaxing nature walk or just lying in bed. In the right environment, this album is a streamable therapy session.

Jared Shuff is the Collegian culture editor and a junior in secondary education. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

My name is Jared Shuff, and I am a former editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I worked as the arts & culture editor and as a contributing writer for the news desk. I am a senior in secondary education with an emphasis in English/journalism. I grew up in Hutchinson, Kansas, and attended Hutchinson Community College before transferring to K-State in 2020.