Madeon – Good Faith

Madeon’s sophomore album Good Faith is finally out. It’s a beautiful album about growing up and about love. Though the wait has been long, this album is well worth it.

It has finally arrived. Madeon’s eagerly anticipated second album, Good Faith, is available for the whole world to listen to and enjoy. A ten-song, thirty-five-minute celebration. And though it took a long time to arrive, it lives up to the hype that the anticipation built. This album feels like a gift. A reward of making it this far. It’s special in ways that aren’t easy to describe.

The album opens up with the three songs we got as singles. ‘Dream, Dream, Dream’ leading into All My Friends’ and finally ‘Be Fine’. This album is all about growing up. The first half focuses on following dreams and experiencing joy, both positively and negatively.

‘Nirvana’ is one of the top songs on the album for me. It feels the most like classic Madeon. But that isn’t why I love it. The lyrics repeat over and over You may find it hard to breathe. And it definitely has a suffocating and claustrophobic feel to it. The distortion effects on the vocals make it feel like we’re truly struggling to breathe. And the way that it builds and transitions to the next song is seamless.

Ever since I heard it at the Brownies and Lemonade New Year’s Eve show, I have been waiting for ‘Mania’ to be released. So it should come as little surprise that this song is my number one for the album. There’s just something so mystical and epic about it. And the drums that come in at the end and just keep going are magnificent. More songs need to utilize drums like he does. And as I said before, the combination of ‘Nirvana’ and ‘Mania’ i so seamless, the two could almost be one song.

‘Miracle’ marks the second half of the album where the theme changes to focusing more about love. This is one of those songs that I thought I knew what it was going to feel like due to teasers and the live show, but the full experience is completely different. It begins as a tender, melancholy goodbye. A song full of regret. And then it explodes into a joyous choir as it picks up energy. It showcases a true transition of mood through experience. Sadness is okay and understandable, but it will eventually fade. At the end of the song, we get the iconic Can you show me a miracle? It’s gratifying to hear what leads up to this part.

The next song is ‘No Fear No More’. This one stands out because of the children’s chorus. The chants of “No Fear. No More.” They’re very powerful. Through the lyrics, it feels like this song is proving someone wrong. You say this future is a world away / I think you worry way too much. But I think it’s more that he’s reassuring himself. He used to tell himself that the future is a world away and his past self worries too much. This album is truly about growing up, Hugo has mentioned that multiple times himself. So what better way to feel that growing up than by recognizing that there’s no more fear. This is a powerful song. A personal anthem.

A total and complete love song takes the next spot. ‘Hold Me Just Because’ is about unrequited love through and through. And it is absolutely beautiful. Hugo’s singing is at its best in this song. Tender and heartbreaking, another goodbye. Just like ‘Miracle’, we’re saying goodbye, and this time we hope it’s for good. Hold me one last time so I can let you go. It ends with a clip of a woman speaking French. And while I don’t personally speak French, I’m told it translates to: You encouraged me to…
…well, to create something, and –

‘Heavy With Hoping’ was the absolute standout during the live show, and it’s still a standout on the album. One of the saddest songs that Madeon has ever released. It tells another tale of unrequited love. One from childhood, that hasn’t gone away. It’s absolutely heartwrenching. Maybe now we could be ready / Maybe this is just a test of faith / Save me. It’s the opposite of ‘Hold Me Just Because’. In that song, he’s finally ready to let go, but in ‘Heavy With Hoping’ he’s either unable or unwilling. This is what heartbreak sounds like.

We’ve made it to the last song ‘Borealis’. The piano in the intro is so light and lovely. It begins to mend the heartbreak from the past few songs. It even starts with A light from dark. Which is how this feels. Many people have said this song is the spiritual successor to ‘Shelter’ and it does have a few of those notes to it. But it feels more like Hugo talking to himself about what “Madeon” means to him. What has the project been, and what will it become, now that Good Faith is out? He doesn’t know But you’ll be made of passion, out of love.

This album exceeded all expectations. Hugo really outdid himself. And like I’ve been saying all along, it really is the most genuine music that he’s ever made. There were only a few problems I had with the album. They all really stemmed from the order of the tracklisting. I know he had his reasons for why he put the songs where he put them, that’s something that artists spend a lot of time on. It’s very important.

I personally feel that the three singles shouldn’t have been clumped together in the beginning. They sound so different to the rest of the album, that spacing them out would allow them to be appreciated more. There were also a few songs that just felt a bit out of place due to the themes. This album was pretty much split into two themes: Growing up and love. ‘No Fear No More’ feels like it should have been up higher. But that’s just getting nitpicky.

The album was amazing and it’s one that I’m going to be listening to for years on end. Madeon really outdid himself, and he should be proud of what he’s created.

Listen to Good Faith below.

Madeon @ Good Faith Live [Showbox SoDo and Roseland Theatre]

Madeon’s Good Faith Live tour is finally here. It’s a beautiful show that is well worth all of the waiting.

An experience that’s been years in the making, Madeon is finally touring his Good Faith Live show. In one word: Wow. I was lucky enough to see him in both Seattle and Portland and they were some of the best shows that I’ve ever been to.

It’s extremely clear from the first second to the last, just how much work and care that Madeon has put into this show. Each moment blends perfectly into the next, both in terms of the songs and the visuals. We’re being told a story here. There’s been a story the entire time, just as long as we were paying attention.

There were songs from both the new album, as well as new versions of our favorites from Adventure. Getting to experience the blend of the old and new was really special. One of the best examples of this was at the very beginning with ‘Pay No Mind’. It was very smart of Hugo to ease everyone in with something that they already knew, while at the same time, showing how the songs, and his sound, have evolved.

Another thing that has evolved is his singing ability. The three Good Faith singles that we’ve received so far (‘All My Friends’, ‘Dream Dream Dream’ and ‘Be Fine’) all feature his vocals. Then, of course, there’s ‘Shelter’ and a few from Adventure, like ‘Beings’. His singing has improved drastically over the years. He has gained so much more confidence in his voice, and it’s really wonderful to hear.

Now onto the new songs. The songs we haven’t really heard yet, but will be hearing very soon. They did not disappoint. Personally, ever since New Year’s Eve, at the Brownies and Lemonade show, I’ve been obsessed with that beautiful ID that he teased us with. It’s thought to be the song ‘Mania’ on the album, which is great. Getting to hear it with the visuals was what I wanted coming into the show. That was definitely a standout moment for me, but I knew it was coming. I have a similar feeling towards ‘Miracle‘ and ‘No Fear No More’. Two songs that I had already heard during Lollapalooza, but ones that I was so happy to experience live.

But the one song that I was not prepared for, and the one that has thus far been a fan favorite, at least with the people that I’ve talked with, is ‘Heavy With Hoping’. There are few words to describe ‘Heavy With Hoping’. A tender, and tragic love song. A moment of pure emotion. One that leaves us with one huge question: who is the vocalist?! That song knocked me off my feet with its beauty, and I still haven’t recovered.

There has been so much joy surrounding Good Faith Live. Whether it’s from fans or from Hugo himself. It’s just been such a beautiful start to a new era. And what these two shows that I got to see really proved was just how worth the wait everything has been. Every agonizing moment hungering for new music, or for him to just do something was all building up to this (and the album that’s coming out next week). And it was worth it.

If you have the chance to go see Good Faith Live, please do yourself a favor and do it. You will not regret a single second.

Porter Robinson @ Second Sky [Worlds Live]

Porter Robinson closed out Second Sky with his Worlds Live set. This show was a beautiful celebration of all things that make up Porter.

There are not enough words to describe the beauty that was Porter Robinson’s set at Second Sky. The main act of the weekend lived up to all the anticipation. All of the excitement. This, the definitive edition of the Worlds Live set was the most amazing concert experience I’ve ever had. Made even more special due to the fact that I missed out on Worlds Live back in the day.

This show is the pinnacle of everything that defines Porter as an artist. With music from all of his past projects including Shelter, Worlds, Language, Spitfire and even ‘Say My Name’ this show has everything you could ever want and so much more.

The songs we all know and love are handled so delicately in the live version. They blend and flow into each other. It’s a flawless hour and a half of music. And with each song are specially crafted visuals and lights. The timing of the music with the visuals is something so coordinated between Porter and his team (shout outs to Ghost Dad) it’s unbelievable.

Each moment of this show was special. Hearing Porter sing live on ‘Sad Machine’, and all of the other times he sang throughout the show. There’s a moment that was hard to catch live, but I’ve listened to it a few times in the recording, where Porter actually sings “Loneliness, melt this curse away” before ‘Fresh Static Snow’ ever plays. It just illustrates the interconnectivity of this entire show. The songs aren’t one and done, everything builds on itself.

It’s hard to pick a definitive “best part” but ‘Fresh Static Snow’ was certainly up there. He played his usual “evil” edit of the song. Where it’s menacing. Dark. The visuals are red and ominous. Our deer-headed friend looks downright demonic. And there are actual flames that shoot out from the stage. It’s terrifying. But beautiful. We’re experiencing an actual curse. And as it builds and builds, there feels like there’s no way out, but to explode. When it feels like there’s about to be a drop, the music melts away into the most beautiful and melodic synths. The colors lighten up and we feel okay. But the darkness is trying to force its way back in. But these angelic notes are fighting it off. There’s a literal war on the stage between the darkness and the light. And in the end, the beauty wins out.

The show is full of moments like that. Secret narratives hidden behind the music. It all adds so much depth to his already pretty deep discography.

Porter has performed Worlds Live in many iterations throughout the years. It changes every so often. This version is what he called the Definitive Version. To create this show, he went back through everything throughout the years. Old live edits, old visuals, everything. It filled him with an intense nostalgia and put back into his 2014 mindset.

“I had this dream of making this album that would allow people to escape into another world. That was one of my dreams. To create this music and this show that could kind of bring people to another place. And my other goal was…I think I really wanted to feel understood. … But what I want to say is…2014 me, that kid, his dream really came true. And it’s all because of you guys.”

As the final notes of ‘Goodbye to a World’ played out and we all thought it was goodbye, Porter proved that he had some tricks and surprises up his sleeves. He came back to play a beautiful version of ‘Language’ (full disclosure, I’m intensely biased, since ‘Language’ is my favorite Porter song). And then he left us once more. But the lights still weren’t up, and people were calling for ‘Shelter’ as there had only been a fleeting moment of it during the set.

After Madeon got announced for Second Sky, there were a bunch of fans pleading for the return of a Shelter Live Set. How could you not want that? Both of them would be there. It would be the perfect opportunity. But the more cynical fans argued that that would never happen. And it didn’t. But we did get something at least.

After ‘Language’, Porter comes back on stage, but he’s not alone. He has none other than Hugo Leclercq with him. They wave to the cheering sea of fans, and walk to the table, hand-in-hand to perform ‘Shelter’. It was so evident that they were having the time of their lives up there performing again. They have such a strong and beautiful friendship. They feed off of each other’s energy. And the performance was magical. It’s clear that Hugo’s singing has definitely improved, since he’s been practicing for Album Two. ‘Shelter’ has never sounded so good.

They parted ways with a hug as Madeon exited the stage so Porter could play the end of the song. It was the perfect ending to a perfect performance.

This show felt like a goodbye to Worlds. Calling it the Definitive Version, and the fact that he’s already hinted that he’s making new music. What better send off for a groundbreaking album and live show than your own festival?

It was a privilege and an honor to get to experience this set not once, but twice. To finally feel the beauty and power that Porter’s music has in person, it’s cheesy to say, but it was life-changing.

And though we don’t know what Porter will bring to next year’s Second Sky, it’s guaranteed to be just as moving and extraordinary as this was.

So thank you Porter, for inviting us into your world, and sharing its magic.

Madeon Hosted Live Instagram “Campfire Sing-Along”

Last night, Madeon hosted an Instagram livestream so that he didn’t have to be alone during a power outage. It was a wholesome stream, that also served to plug Porter Robinson’s charity.

Last night, Madeon’s power went out. He passed the time by livestreaming on Instagram while a candle flickered next to him. Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of the stream, but I caught the last hour or so, and it was one of the most wholesome hours of my life.

“Shout out to the candle, it’s making the world a little bit brighter right now. It’s my sun right now. Reminding me that there’s hope out there.”

Before he lost power, Hugo was recording some vocals. He was so surprised and frightened when the lights went out that he screamed. Unfortunately, that candid moment was lost forever, but at least we have our imaginations.

“I don’t plan on doing any more streams. I’m just doing it now because I have nothing else to do, and I’m afraid of the dark.” Though he mentioned he didn’t want to be alone, he never expected there to be over 1000 people watching him. “I expected there to be like five of you,” he said at one point.

Not wanting this significant amount of people to go to waste, he chose to use the moment as Public Service Announcement, and plug Porter Robinson’s post about the Robinson Malawi Fund. “Go read Porter’s post, it’s much more interesting than what’s going on here.” While we very much appreciate the sentiment, and Porter’s cause is extremely important, Hugo’s live stream was also very interesting and entertaining.

He answered fan questions for awhile. Notable ones included “What is your favorite jacket?” The answer to that is the red one that he wore at Coachella during the Shelter tour. He revealed that he’s only worn it that one time. Because it “has such an intense memory associated with it. It’s like my wedding gown. I look at it, but I never wear it.”

Someone also asked about the vocal processing on ‘All My Friends’ and ‘Shelter’. His cheeky reply was “There is no vocal processing. I just sound like that, I swear. I turn on the mic and bam!” Leave it to Hugo to keep it silly while being scared.

But he then proved that statement false when he grabbed an acoustic guitar and played his songs for us. He said it was a “campfire sing-along”. His guitar was out of tune and he couldn’t remember most of the words to his songs, but that didn’t matter. It was such a precious and special moment.

He started with acoustic ‘All My Friends’, then sang snippets on quite a few songs. ‘Shelter’, ‘Beings’, ‘La Lune’, you get the picture. When someone asked him to sing ‘City‘ he mentioned that he recently rewrote the lyrics, so maybe he would sing those someday. We can only hope.

The livestream was bound to end eventually. It was either going to be his phone dying, the candle burning out, or his power coming back on. It happened to be the third. Luckily, he didn’t have to be alone in the dark any longer.

The stream is now over and gone. But it was such a warm and cozy time. And the PSA is still valid: Go check out Porter’s post about the Robinson Malawi Fund, and donate if you can.

Image Courtesy of…myself who cannot draw very well 🙂