After months of waiting, several singles, and a suspenseful countdown via social media, Worlds is finally upon us. As a self appointed member of the #PRSquad, I couldn’t be happier to share this work of art with you! The full album has actually been available for streaming from BBC for over a week, but in case you haven’t discovered it yet, here’s a roadmap to guide you – and make sure to enjoy the Worlds artwork along the way!
“We will wait for this…” Divinity is the opening track to the album, and I can see why Porter chose this – it encompasses the general idea of his career in dance music so far. It’s hard hitting at first, choppy and full of bass and distortion, but it quickly turns into a ethereal vocal work before combining both in synthetic happiness.
“She depends on you…” Sad Machine, the second single from Worlds, is heavier on vocals than most tracks, but it’s definitely reflective of advancement in Porter’s personal and musical life. This is the first time that Porter has put his own vocals into the track, combined with that of a vocaloid. It also highlights some of his main influences by incorporating classic video game-ish MIDI sounds.
Years of War
“Fight till we are no more…” This track is also heavier on the vocals, and could easily be the best Worlds track to use in a mainstream setting. I could picture this being Porter’s next single, and the baes will be singing along to this one at the live shows for sure.
“I’m just trying to find what’s really important to me…” Yeah, it’s a single, but I feel like this is going to be one of my favorite songs on this album. The syncopation in the beginning reminds me of 90’s R&B, and the whole track has a funky feel that any Kill Paris fan should appreciate. To get the vocal sample, Porter plugged “I’m just trying to find what’s really important to me” into a Japanese translator and chopped it up… making it meaningful and poppy at the same time. Love it.
Fresh Static Snow
“Though I’ll never know your name, I’ll cry for you the same…” A little bit funky and downtempo with some ambience to boot; Fresh Static Snow inclusive of vocals but less so than other tracks. You can hear some of Porter’s former heavier style start to come out in this track, but the slow BPM’s, and another vocaloid appearance, and a very classical ending keep us in check.
“Taking back what you’ve spent…” Evidence of video game influence is clear in this track as well, from the first eight beats. However, it wasn’t until I heard this song that I understood the comparison between Porter’s new album and M83, but the pop/ambient style of this track is definitely reminiscent of Midnight City. Polygon Dust is more synth-heavy than other tracks but at the same time kind of reminds me of Beautician by Dillon Francis at certain parts.
Hear the Bells
“Can’t you hear the bells singing along?” Beautiful lyrics in this one (which is also extensive on the vocals), with a traditional 4/4 beat, and this is where I begin to pick up on Passion Pit-like qualities, with a more electro feel.
No lyrics, and I feel like Porter would have had an amazing time making this, playing around with the syncopation and the plethora of different sounds that made it into the final cut. At just over 2 minutes, this one is the shortest track on the album but serves as a grab bag of fun for your ears. See how many different effects you can point out.
“They broke the walls we guarded, but we don’t care about it…” You should have heard this one already; it’s Porter’s third Worlds single and it’s catchy as all hell. Zane Lowe from BBC Radio 1 had it on his Hottest Records in the World list, so if Porter aims to not be “DJ friendly,” this probably isn’t the way to do it, seeing as how this track has been everywhere this summer.
“We’ll see creation come undone… These bones that bound us will be gone.” I will never forget this song. Porter released this song earlier this year, at a point when my grandfather was in the hospital. He’s since passed, but I remember playing this for my mom and explaining how powerful it was for me in this situation. So few words, but such meaningful build and precise progression. It’s beautiful, and really should be considered a work of art. This is now my go-to song to disprove anyone who claims electronic music can’t have depth.
“And now, I cry… for all that is beautiful.” This track is clearly the most reflective of Porter’s internal conflict, and my favorite on the Worlds album. It begins with a symphonic build, only to be destroyed by a harsh four-on-the-floor beat into a hardstyle section that’s very reminiscent of Porter classics like Say My Name or Spitfire. The symphony then returns and has to battle synth stabs throughout the remainder of the track, perfectly equating to Porter’s increasingly public psychological struggle with the industry he’s in.
Goodbye to a World
“Though it’s the end of the world… don’t blame yourself…” A perfect closer. Lots of MIDI sounds in this one, bringing it back to his video game roots again. After previous two tracks, I’d say its smart to use this track as a comedown and close on a high note (Sea of Voices and Fellow Feeling are both pretty emotionally heavy). This one’s poppy and vocaloid laden and I love the ending… were we listening to people at all this whole time?! Maybe Porter is a robot.
So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. That was Worlds. Another review suggested that Porter “ditch the indie-pop crutch,” and I have to respectfully disagree. I don’t think Porter intentionally manufactured his songs to sound like M83 or Passion Pit, or any indie pop for that manner. You could technically argue this for any artist – is DJ Snake’s success due to a hip-hop crutch? Anyway, Porter’s pretty strongly against certain aspects of the EDM industry, and he’s incorporating new techniques and sounds into his work that represent growth from previous endeavors. He’s evolving, not using a crutch, and he should evolve as he sees fit.
Porter originally got into making music through video games, and this album is a huge step for him, displaying hints of funk, thriving chords and impressive progressions, and a general transcendence back to true music, rather than just noises made by a computer. I am in love with Worlds, and I hope you are too – click any of the pics to link to iTunes and buy the album yourself.