We pick the hottest new acts so you can tell your friends you heard them first. Meet Sydney singer-songwriter Thomas Porter on his new EP 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl'.
Sydney singer-songwriter Thomas Porter has spent the last two years making his debut EP Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
A record drenched in interesting and endearing pop moments, it is Porter’s knack for raw, authentic, and vulnerable storytelling mixed with his skill for crafting music that is as exciting as it is accessible, alongside his charmingly irresistible vocal, that makes this EP an instant winner.
Manic Pixie Dream Girl explores the impacts that romantic comedy films have on young people and how they might skew expectations of future relationships. From infatuation with someone that you believe is out of your league on debut single ‘Tired’ to naively ignoring flaws in a relationship on ‘BlueBlueBlue’, and even the self-realisation that you only loved the idea of the person and never truly knew who they were like on ‘The Things You Are Not Part 1 & 2’ – Manic Pixie Dream Girl does a lot of deep-diving and self-reflecting across its 22 minute journey.
While this EP has been a two-year work in progress, music has been a part of Thomas Porter’s life for much longer. He first discovered a love of writing music at age 11, while teaching himself to play piano at home. He’d already been playing the saxophone since he was in year two at school, giving him a level of classical training, but that meant that he refused to take any more music lessons, instead choosing to come up with his own chord progressions and write on his own. Yep, at just 11 years old.
Next came singing, which he learned after signing up for a school play the year after – discovering how to project his voice in a whole new way. From this, the music of today’s Thomas Porter was born – producing, writing, and mixing everything himself.
With a list of influences and inspirations that span every spectrum of genre and across many different time periods, it is Porter’s expert grasp of production and clear sense of his own musical identity that threads everything together.
Intimate yet fun melodies, vulnerable and authentic lyricism, sun-soaked and subtle production, all wrapping around Porter’s hook-y, irresistible pop vocal. That is Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
With his debut single dropping during the pandemic, it isn’t until after he’s released this EP that he has the chance to perform his first ever live show. That will be happening later this week. From there, the sky’s the limit for Thomas Porter.
This EP was born out of the first lockdown all the way back at the start of 2020, where I wrote and produced the entire thing in about three weeks. I really want people to take away their own ideas and feelings about it, but in short this is an EP about self-reflection. Some parts of it are true, others are not, but overall it is a story about someone realising that they themselves are the problem. I’m not a big fan of explaining the entire concepts surrounding my art, so I’ll leave it at this: The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is no one person. They are the accumulation of years of media, relationships and bad habits taken into every relationship, that leads to a story like this.Thomas Porter on his new EP Manic Pixie Dream Girl
To celebrate the release, we sat down with Thomas Porter to learn about the things that inspired Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
Check out Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Thomas Porter
Thomas Porter shares the things that inspired Manic Pixie Dream Girl:
My Childhood Bedroom
“This is where I wrote the entirety of the EP, and all of the music I have ever made, up until very recently. While it definitely wasn’t the perfect space to make music in, its limitations are what inspired so much of the sonic content in the songs. I really only had a ukulele, a guitar and my laptop, and had to make do with that.”
“While I am not a local, Wollongong is where all the photos that eventually became the art for the EP were taken. My girlfriend and I took a spur of the moment road trip there and she documented the entire thing on her camera, and eventually those photos became the visual basis for the entire EP.”
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
“While not exactly a real person, the film Forgetting Sarah Marshall inspired a huge part of this EP (as well as lots of other rom coms). It’s a stupid movie, but being in lockdown, and having nothing else to do, it was nice to be inspired to write something as silly as the film.”
“Anyone that knows me, knows I am a big old mama’s boy. Back when I first started making music, I never showed it to anyone except for my mum. Good thing she didn’t tell me how bad it was.”
My Parents Garden
“This entire EP was written and produced during the very first lockdown over two years ago now. While it was definitely a weird and scary time, one of the few things that got me through it was being able to go outside and relax while playing with my dogs.”
The World Bar
“Weird I know. A bar that hasn’t been open for a couple years? But this wasn’t just any bar, this was The World Bar! Going there was the first time I had been accepted into a community where everyone loved music as much as I did, and was so important to how I grew into the musician I am now.”
Torches by Foster The People
“Foster The People’s first album. A modern masterpiece (in my opinion). Really inspired my production direction as someone who wanted more of everything, and everything had to be exciting and in your face. The writing on it is also flawless.”
Madeon x Porter Robinson Shelter Tour
“This is the moment I realised I wanted to be a musician. Being in a room full of people all on the same page, all feeling the same thing. I became obsessed with the idea of one day performing to a room of people in the same way.”
“I lived in Denmark when I was 16 years old and it changed my life. It’s where I experienced my first heartbreak, and really just changed me as a person. I don’t think this EP would exist without my time there.”
My Girlfriend Miranda
“While we weren’t together when I first started the EP, my girlfriend Miranda has been the most encouraging and amazing person to help me grow and evolve this EP from a small idea, to a a fully fleshed out body of work. Love you Miranda xoxo”
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