Guitarist Paul Padgett was hanging out in Nashville, Tenn., playing folk and bluegrass, when he decided he was in a rut: the same relationships, same work, same music. His friend, hip-hop artist Paul "Cadence" Elam, was also looking for an escape from routine, so the two decided to work together on something new. The result is a project they're calling Another Robot Sunset. It's a deftly orchestrated marriage of acoustic guitar, electronic dance beats, and rap. Their debut release — one they're calling an experiment — is The Amber EP.
"Our goal was to stretch emotionally rich lyrics over the metallic framework of obviously synthetic music," says Padgett. "The Amber EP was our reaction to feeling automatic and robotic in our lives and relationships but feeling unable to escape the pattern. Another Robot Sunset is a collection of ironies: sad songs built on top of dancey beats, love songs composed of beeps and buzzes and chirps."
The overall mood of The Amber EP is largely somber, but the digital rhythms keep it from being overly sleepy or melancholy. Cadence's raps are thoughtful and finely spun, striking the perfect tone with Padgett's guitar work and occasional sung parts. Additional vocals from singer Brooke Waggoner sweeten the mix.
The central theme of The Amber EP is the universal search for identity and meaning, as Padgett and Cadence sort out their various loves and losses. One of the standout tracks, "Goodbye I'm Gone," mulls over the end of a relationship.
"There's a lot packed into these moments," says Padgett. "These moments often seem abrupt or anachronistic, but there are always a couple open-eyed glimmers where you look back and things start to make sense or seem to make sense, like a code. When things start to fall apart, we're moving from one code to the next. 'Goodbye I'm Gone' is about one moment in that transition."