Philadelphia-based artist 92elm has been impossible to ignore for a good while. A leading figure among the future bass movement of yesteryear, his sound has since developed and matured. Organic flourishes now lurk among the electronic foundations, while stunning, vocal-led compositions have become the norm. His latest EP, Patience, builds upon this artistic progression with a volley of 5 stunning tracks. I got the chance to talk to him about the release.
Firstly, I wanted to touch on the sense of progression throughout Patience. It seems to start very organic and chill, evolving into more energetic, electronic tracks towards the end. Was this deliberate? What was the idea behind how you wanted the EP to unfold?
Hey thanks for the question man! I’m glad you noticed that, it was definitely deliberate. I wanted the flow of the EP to feel like an upward ramp, resolving at the end with the title track “Patience”. I wanted to associate the energy level of each song with it’s place in the story.
The intro track is very cinematic; far more so than a lot of the music we’ve heard from you before. What was it like making such a stylistic shift? Is orchestral music going to be making more of an appearance on your future releases?
It’s funny because some of my earliest musical memories are soundtracks, from orchestral scores by John Williams to composers like Hanz Zimmer & Jon Brion. I’ve dabbled with this on the side but never found a place that made sense to release that style of music until now - and yes I plan to explore that a lot further!
Being predominantly a producer, how did you find the process of writing and recording vocals? Was there any difficulty you didn’t expect, or was it fairly straightforward?
This is the most challenging part of making music for me currently, but also the most fun. I’ve always written lyrics & songs, but never confidently used my own voice for them, so it’s been a learning curve. I want to keep pushing & find new parts of my voice, I’ve been listening to a lot of D’Angelo & Prince for inspiration on how to use the voice more like an instrument.
What is the story behind the track titles? Is there a theme that runs through them; some sort of development?
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There’s definitely a theme, each song is meant to capture different stages & associated feelings of a relationship with someone. “Water” is planting the seed for something to grow, “Blind” is falling into something new & uncertain, so on & so forth. “Patience” is the perfect ending to me, because I think it’s what people are forced to have when healing from something. You can’t rush the process of getting over an injury, you have to let time do its thing.
What impact do you hope for with this EP? Is there something specific you want people to take away from their listening experience?
I want people to enjoy it, which is a boring but honest answer...I suppose I want them to recognize some sort of story or unifying theme & interpret it in their own way. I tried to strike a balance between a clean/poppy style & some left-of-center sounds, so hopefully that comes across as well.
And finally, are there any details in any of the tracks that you want to direct people’s attention towards? Production tricks or compositional sections that you are particularly proud of, for example?
I could go down a rabbit hole there...I really like the outro of “Hesitation”, it has all these different instruments like glockenspiel, electric guitars, Nord synth & taiko drums chopped up into a glitchy pattern. I also really like the final chorus/predrop section of “When It Falls”, my vocals are kind of naked there which is scary, but I’m very happy with how it sounds.
Stream the Patience EP here: