ALbum cover for Porter Robinson with bone-coloured vinyl record popping outSince breaking through in 2014 with debut album Worlds, Porter Robinson has struggled with stardom.

Thrust into depression and creative paralysis shortly after his introduction to the limelight, Robinson has spent the years since flirting with various projects – an anime/song collaboration with Madeon and A-1 Pictures, an alter ego as Virtual Self – in an attempt to find himself in music again. Nurture describes that process.

Unlike the J-Pop-meets-disco mashup influences of Worlds, Nurture has a more consistent identity that stands on its own, representative of Robinson’s newfound clarity. Marked by sentimental and buoyant synth-pop, the lyrics wrestle to find reason against hopelessness. It’s most explicit on Mirror, Robinson debating his self-doubt incarnate, but it plays out across the album – verses of introspection giving way to choruses of revelation.

In weaker hands, that thematic consistency could start to repeat itself, but Robinson draws out each facet of the way one’s raison d’etre can turn against them and the devastating struggle to claw it back. “I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that [my favorite artists] do what they do. I think being able to give people that experience through sincere songwriting is what makes it worthwhile,” Robinson said with the release of single Get Your Wish. With Nurture, he pays it forward.

Nurture by Porter Robinson is out May 28 on CD and vinyl via Mom + Pop.

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