Rising electro-pop artist Speelburg has a new album out, Porche, and as the name implies many of the tunes are driven with a fast pace of the sports car.
Written and produced by Speelburg — with Laurie James Ross on select tracks — and mixed by Grammy Award-winning producer Ben H. Allen (Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective, Kaiser Chiefs), Porsche is an expansive collection living at the intersection of pop art and pop music. The 11 songs express a wide range from love, happiness and grief as a result of his mom’s death a few years ago, with samples from childhood tapes woven throughout the album.
“Gwyneth (Get Up!),” named for Paltrow herself, encapsulates the frivolous and feel good vibe that is ever-present on Porsche. Energetic new single “When You Want Me” sees the multi-faceted artist and producer playing most of the instrumentation himself, except for the brass played by his friend Paul Silver, is another fast-paced effort. Elsewhere, there’s the Beck and Cut Chemist influenced “Crash & Burn” and album opener “Everything I Know,” that serendipitously came together with his friend Cautious Clay. Additionally, Porsche features Speelburg’s recent tropical synth-pop single “World Is Falling Apart (this version)” along with his previously released tracks “Lay It Right” and “Kline.”
Everything I Know
I had been trying to write a song about the idea of having threesomes in Paris for a while. The kind of hedonistic summer you have when you forget the world around you is unfair and burning and constantly trying to get rid of the crazies in lieu of something “normal.” The awkwardness, the need to do something crazy for the sake of doing it and the half-assed attempt at criticizing modern-day capitalism was a great way to start the record.
Gwyneth (Get Up!)
Gwyneth Paltrow is fascinating. It’s so easy to make fun of the vagina candles and yoni eggs and forget all about the great roles. But more than that, she’s smart enough to play into it. It could all be a performance, literally the role of a lifetime. Sometimes you get a knowing wink. There’s so much self-awareness and humor. She’s like the queen meets Marilyn Monroe – maligned, yet beloved.
The song isn’t even really about her.
Stay On The Ground
How can you keep shaking the bottle day in and day out and not expect the cap to come flying off? It’s hard to watch the news and feel like there’s nothing you can do about it. To be honest, my voice isn’t the one to make any sense of anything, but what I can do is process it in my own way.
World Is Falling Apart (this version)
I’ve attempted to write many pop songs for people and hide some dark stuff in there to see if they’ll notice. And sometimes you like something so much, you choose to keep it for yourself. A song like this will probably keep ringing true because the ills of the world are evergreen, but it’s absolutely a hopeful song, despite what the title would suggest.
When You Want Me
Fast songs are always fun. I think my next record will be all fast songs and by the transitive property, will be all fun. “When You Want Me” is a song about cosmic longing. So fun.
Crash & Burn
Sometimes I like to imagine what the video would look like while I’m writing the lyrics. When I directed the video for “Crash & Burn,” I think I got pretty close, though what I had in my head would have cost about 3 times the budget. “I don’t believe in love at first fight” is half the reason this album even got made in the first place.
Life In Between
It’s so easy to be obsessed about the thing you’re doing and see it as the ”most important thing anyone has ever done, ever” and forget about the world around you. Like, literally releasing an album has been an exercise in narcissism, to a fault. You’re talking about yourself to promote this thing you made and love in the hopes that other people will connect with it too, so you wake up and think about it and you go to sleep thinking about it, all the while the world is still turning and honestly not really giving a shit about what you’ve made. It’s pretty liberating to know no one cares about your work and that you make it ‘cause you’re gonna make it either way. In between the great moments and the terrible ones and all that naval-gazing, life is still happening. It’s a polite reminder to think of others.
Lay It Right
I would say “calm as a comet” is a pretty good description. This feeling of always moving forward with maybe a thought of a trajectory, but always in flux. Like your mind is racing at a million miles an hour. There’s a few people in this world that help calm you down and focus you and make you truly happy and they’re worth writing about. Even if sometimes it feels like they’re a million miles away. Check on your friends and family once in a while.
Can’t Get Even
I could write a book on my love of warm brassy synth sounds. It would be a boring book, but I could do it. I didn’t always like that sound, but “Can’t Get Even” was a joy to put together. I think my favorite part is the silence before the beat first hits. It really feels like it lasts forever. I hope people hit their stereos thinking something went wrong when they first hear it.
Entertaining The Notions
I wrote it in one evening at home in France a couple summers ago. It really doesn’t adhere to pop songwriting all that much, which makes it one of my favorite ones on the record. The synth solo was recorded in a another key and the controls crapped out, and this is what I was left with. It was so weird, I just had to keep it in. To me, it sounds like if Dire Straits were to make a post-punk record.
I really liked the idea of ending the record with the first track I wrote for the project. Just a nice coda to the whole thing. If I never make another album as Speelburg, then at least this one album is a complete journey. The gospel build up at the end nearly fucked up my throat, but it was worth it to give Porsche the send-off it deserves. I don’t think I realized how much this album is about losing my mom until I sat down and re-read a bunch of the lyrics. It would be nice if finally releasing this album could bring any semblance of peace.
Photo by: Alline Beatrici