ACTIVE CHILD is the new project from choirboy-turned-indie pop musician Pat Grossi. His debut collection of songs features the skilled use of various 80s-tinged synths to create ethereal, soaring soundscapes, punctuated by crisp electronic drum samples and handclaps. All of this lays the groundwork for Grossi’s exquisite vocals, which, with their unearthly sound and evocative lyrics, take on an enchanting, hymnal quality that would not be out of place amongst the richly colored sunlight of a church’s stained-glass interior.
ACTIVE CHILD’s songs are an intriguing study in contrast. The organic elements of Grossi’s angelic vocals and the occasional delicate strumming of a harp cast light on the eerie darkness created by the haunting synths and cavernous reverberating of percussion.
Grossi cites the musical environment in his childhood home as an early inspiration for his own desire to make music. After participating in a school choir as a child, he joined the Philadelphia Boys Choir at age 10. The influence of chorale singing, along with the sensibility of non-secular music, is as apparent in ACTIVE CHILD’s work as the influence of 80s synth pop bands like New Order, Joy Division and Tears for Fears.
Pitchfork Media recently reviewed the ACTIVE CHILD track “Wilderness,” giving it a rating of 8/10 and comparing Grossi’s “trembling falsetto” to that of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Antony of Antony and the Johnsons. The review went on to say that ACTIVE CHILD’s mixed-genre work “is a good example of the positive results to be yielded from a musician straddling two disparate styles” and “pulls from different directions but still manages to aim forward.”
Curtis Lane, the six-song debut EP was released on June 1st via Filter Records in the US and Merok Recordings in the UK.