While being a new artist in a endless sea of aspiring musicians is not the most glamorous or rewarding line of work, there is one exceptional advantage: music can act as a healthy outlet for describing, understanding, and coping with your experiences. Songwriting can be as personal or as fictitious as the creator chooses, and for electronic singer/producer On Planets, the Personal Space EP embodies its title down to the second-by-second progression of each song.
While we've enjoyed "Cure" and "Too Bad / So Sad" over the last few months, we've teamed up with the young Vancouver artist to present your exclusive first listen of the two remaining tracks from his debut EP: "First Tour" and "Chapter." Together, the four songs tell the story of a young man's journey through some of life's core identity-defining changes: graduating university, breaking up, moving between cities, and shifting careers–along with all of the associated feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and uncertainty.
"First Tour" is one of those songs you can close your eyes and create your own story with. With a slow-burning instrumental and vocal build-up that leads to an epiphanous bass-infused drop more than halfway through, Sean Wharton's (On Planets) personal story shines through and through. He expanded,
"'First Tour' is a three part song about the transition from finishing school and living in an apartment on Commercial Drive, to breaking up, moving way out of the city to an outlying municipality, and starting my career. It actually starts with a recording that I took of myself walking around my empty house shortly after moving in. The middle section is settling in and feeling some release of the pressure that had been building and made me want to move away/be alone in the first place. The third section is about un-settling in, and feeling the chills of isolation and monotony. This is my favorite song of the four; I think it's the most poignant and emotional for me, and best represents the musical style that I'm going forward with."
Skipping down to the final track of the EP, "Chapter" is a collaboration between On Planets and Canadian singer-songwriter Luca Fogale. Retaining Wharton's signature steady build-ups and full-bodied synths, Fogale takes over on vocal duties to describe a feeling that the two of them serendipitously shared. On Planets explained,
"'Chapter' started off as an instrumental that I wrote while feeling sort of at the page break, the blank space between when one chapter has ended and the next has yet to begin. I was finally getting steady and taking a break after the final frenzy of finishing school, and waiting to start my new job in a few weeks. I resented the city with its frantic dirtiness and the constant close proximity to other people, but also started to realize how lonesome it is to be 45 minutes down the highway with no connections or friends or favorite coffee shops or anything. I pitched the beat to Luca straight, no back-story, and he came back with a vocal idea; I couldn't totally understand the words in the clip he sent, but loved it anyways. Later when we went over what the song was going to be about and what direction we were going to take it, he told me that the lyrics were about feeling pushed away by Vancouver, and how bittersweet and confusing it is. Somehow we both wrote the song about the same topic, so for me this one is pretty much the icing on the cake of the album.“
The full Personal Space EP is due tomorrow, April 28, via Majestic Casual, and we can only hope for a full length in the near future. Follow On Planets on any of the below for the latest!