WHAT makes an artist decide to release an album in three parts?

For Lucian Blomkamp (styled LUCIANBLOMKAMP) the answer is simple: his life. Over the course of writing his third album Sick of What I Don’t Understand, the Melbourne producer says he underwent some real life changes that inspired the record’s shift from dark to light.

“A large deciding factor to release this album in three parts was due to a very large emotional and tonal shift in gears that took place while writing the album over the space of around two years,” he explains. “During this time things in my life really kept getting better and better.”

 

Lucian has recently developed an ongoing collaborative relationship with US rapper 6LACK, while Sick of What I Don’t Understand features collaborations with singer Eliott and Rromarin, English grime MC Trim, and his partner Rosebud Leach.

Here’s his breakdown of the album’s three parts.

Part 1

‘Sick Of What I Don’t Understand’

I was never aiming to change my sound going into writing this album, but by the time I had written everything it had just taken its own form and the pieces fell into place. I thought separating everything would make this tonal shift between the different parts seem clearer. I wanted the opening track to reflect this full transition from dark to light and act as a summary of what’s to be expected from the album as a whole.

‘Crawling’

When talking about the emotional transition that takes place during the album, ‘Crawling’ is definitely the lowest point in the story. There was real a sense of hopelessness going into this track and I think it shows.

‘Nothing’ (ft. Rromarin)

‘Nothing’ is definitely one of my proudest moments as a producer/songwriter. I usually fall into the age-old trap of adding too many elements and thus getting in the way of creating a concise sound/emotional journey. ‘Nothing’, I think, is one of the few times there’s a real sense that every sound in the track is completely essential and nothing could have been taken out or added without ruining the track. Or more likely it’s probably just the fact that Rromarin’s vocal performance sounds so incredible. I could have written anything and it still would have sounded great.

‘Still No’ (ft. Trim)

I’ve always felt Trim to be one of the most underrated rappers out there. His career has spanned so many styles/eras that he’s really got quite the legacy behind him. Regardless, I’d never thought I’d be lucky enough to have him on a track. As a result I think it acts as the perfect closer to Part 1 as Trim’s aggressive lyrics and flow really reflect the tone of the release.

Part 2

‘Endless’

‘Endless’ is the start of this transition from dark to light. I think straight out the gates it’s pretty clear. The track’s about reflection and acts basically as a conversation between my past and hypothetical future self.

‘Black Dove’ (ft. Jace XL)

I try my best to break the habit of writing/producing all of my songs on my laptop, although a lot of the time that isn’t the case. ‘Black Dove’ is definitely the most ‘live’ track on the album featuring drums from legend Christopher Port, Saxophone from Robert Glaesemann, as well as me farting around on a bunch of different instruments not nearly as well as them. Never mind Jace’s next level vocal chops.

‘I Lose Myself’ (ft. Rosebud Leach)

Rosebud Leach is my girlfriend and we’ve made music together on and off basically ever since we first met. I feel like every instance we’ve worked on something we’ve discovered a new sound for us to explore and our music only ever gets better. Basically the perfect person you’d want to work with. It’s funny because despite all this the track isn’t actually about our relationship and is rather a hodgepodge of different fictitious stories come together in one.

‘Doing This For You’ (ft. Eliott)

‘Doing This For You’ was originally a very different track. Eliott and I have actually worked on a couple of tracks before. We first met around mid-2016 and ‘Doing This For You’ was the first track we worked on together. Funnily enough it was originally an R&B slow burner and didn’t vaguely resemble the song it is today. While we both really liked the original draft, after returning to the track on different occasions over the period of a couple months, it slowly but surely started to morph into what it is today. Not an R&B track.

Part 3

‘Control Together’ (ft. Rosebud Leach)

While it’s only the first track on Part 3, in a lot of ways I feel ‘Control Together’ is the final stop in the emotional journey of the album. A lot of what improved my state of mind when writing the album was moving out with Rosey and ‘Control Together’ was the first track I wrote in the new house. While the song isn’t really about this point in time, this song and the circumstances surrounding it really set the mood for everything that’d come after.

‘Distractions’ (ft. Life Is Better Blonde)

I guess it just goes with the territory that most artists experience a lot of self doubt throughout their careers, and for the most part it’s a good thing. Self doubt obviously pushes you to do more than you thought you were capable. Regardless, ‘Distractions’ acts as a reminder to value your self worth and place your own creative decisions (with regards to your own work) over all others. This may come off as pretty vain, but I feel maintaining a healthy mental state as any type of artist hilariously involves a perfect storm of narcissism and self doubt. As much as I understand people might not want to admit it, one without the other doesn’t tend to work and can lead to scary situations.

‘We.’

It’s only on extremely rare occasions that I ever write love songs. It’s really only because I find it to be an incredibly difficult task and far harder to do well than people give it credit. With that said ‘We.’ was one of the smoothest writing processes I’ve ever had, and got the whole track down in only a few hours. I think because of this there’s a real sense of transparency in the lyrics that gives the track more weight than what I’d usually be able to achieve. I guess it’s no surprise but this track is also dedicated to Rosey.

‘I’ll Find’

While some might call it cheesy, ‘I’ll Find’ is about looking forward to the future no matter how ambiguous its trajectory may seem. Ironically it was actually one of the earliest tracks I wrote for the album, although I think because of this it’s actually far more fitting to be it’s closer. I say this because it seemed to somehow foreshadow my change in mindset that’d take place over the next year or so without me even realising it at the time. Everything went full circle somehow.

Something Else