Our childhood fantasies of traveling through space have been fulfilled. Sean Wharton, aka producer On Planets, has teamed up with producer/singer Chris James to create a tranquil yet dynamic new single, “Fallen.”
The track is being released through Majestic Casual, known for featuring and working with the top electronic artists of the times. With this idea of space, it’s ironically fitting that Vancouver-based Wharton and Long Beach-based James never actually met in person to collaborate. While On Planets has received recognition from NEST HQ and Mr. Suicide Sheep, James is known for his vocal feature on Deadmau5’s “The Veldt.” His voice lends itself to the dreamlike production that On Planets previously created, creating butterflies and the breathless feeling of the drop on a rollercoaster when you listen to the track.
With the sounds of lightly pulsing synths and James’ calming vocals, we feel like we’re drifting through space as we float past planets and stars. But once the drop hits in the chorus, we experience a sudden acceleration in our journey through space. Each bass and snare is masterfully positioned to create a dynamic track that is effectively syncopated, contributing to the changes in motion we experience. The single’s artwork is also reflective of its sonic nature, depicting a nude, faceless figure floating on a cloud in the night sky.
On Planets revealed about the making and meaning of the track,
“‘Fallen’ started out as this beat that I had gotten stuck on—it was written around a guitar duet and reached this point where it sounded good, but somehow kind of lonely and missing a piece. I didn’t really know how to approach the vocals and it was starting to collect dust in my unfinished folder when I got the opportunity to link up with Chris and floated it his way, just to see what would happen. He totally knew exactly what the song was meant to say and said it—the end product is as dreamy and lonely as when it started.
It was a real honor to work with Chris on this one; I think he was able to capture something that I felt, but couldn’t really explain properly. I connect it with lying on my back underneath the stars, but it actually happens a lot in life and in love—the paradoxical feeling of falling through space, at the same time as lying at the pit of some sort of vastness (the words fallen/falling are kind of ambiguous in the song to this effect).”
The track is ultimately romantic, James singing, “‘Cause baby you know I’m fallen for you.” The passion in his voice becomes undeniable. The lyrics and quality of his voice seem to be the perfect fit for the production On Planets created, and the partnership was bound to result in great music from the first meeting:
“I got connected with Chris through our mutual management at the time and pretty much knew right away that it would be a good fit stylistically. His voice has this lofty, sort of floating character to it, and the way he writes lyrics is kind of mystical but at the same time unpretentious and clear. The instrumental I had was the same in many ways so the two came together really naturally. I’m really slow, so I was impressed with how quickly Chris can write and produce; it’s almost like magic when he’s working on something.”
The whimsical nature of the song seems to run parallel to the name “On Planets.” “Fallen” is thus a reflection of what the producer ultimately represents as an artist and what he hopes for his fellow inhabitants of the planet to experience from his music:
“I like to think that in a way we all kind of inhabit our own separate realities, each on our own little metaphysical planet. Life looks and feels different for every person, so even though we all exist on the same Earth, it’s somehow still possible to be very close to someone while feeling very distant from them. The project for me is about taking some of the words and noises that I have on my planet and hopefully make music that other people can dig from their home planets.”
Stream “Fallen” below: