Active Child You Are All I See
    • TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2011

    • Posted by: Joe Puglisi

    With Active Child's debut, it's easy to see the progress of Pat Grossi's indie-pop computer project, blossoming from minimalist beauty to fully functioning monstrosities of sound. Light years and many multi-tracks ahead of last year's Curtis Lane EP, Grossi leaves no sound uncurled in his burgeoning constructions. You Are All I See is full of gorgeous waves, but it's anything but chill—In many ways it's the anti-chill, an engrossing, in-your-face wash of sounds that instead of mellowing the mind, encourages listeners to engage and inflate expectations.

    Title track "You Are All I See" wastes no moments in silence, opting for an opening motif to prick the ears into paying attention. The running harp mixed with reverberated snares is the perfect launch pad for Grossi's falsetto croon, with the titular sentiment taking on a grandiose overtone amidst the clatter, despite its simple diction. The chaotic harp bursts tighten into a running synth line for "Hangin' On", one of the albums most brash and intriguing songs. Unlike many songs in a similar vein (structurally), Grossi's melodic swells add life and color to the layers, not the other way around.

    Other tracks combine unexpected elements from various genres; R&B, 80s pop music, indie rock. One might mistake this concoction as the yang to The Weeknd's yin. "Playing House" is almost exactly like an Abel Tesfaye track with the synths turned way up and all the parts sung by Antony Hegarty. "High Priestess" is smoky and subtley uncouth, despite the neat polish of Grossi's production. "Shield & Sword" has a beat that sounds leftover from 808s sessions with Kanye, with the standard Child harp-synth sprinkled in to mark the territory. The comparisons really start to pop with repeated listens, give it time.

    Epic drums like on "See Thru Eyes" might be mistaken for sloppy bombast or nods to Rocky soundtracks. But Active Child's gargantuan soundscapes are all borne of a clear career trajectory. From the static beauty of old favorite "I'm In Your Church at Night" to the vastness of YAAIS's "Ivy", Active Child attempts to capture the fleeting feeling of hearing a riff reverberate your bones, even if its with nothing but literal loudness and enough tracks to fill an ocean of tape.

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    MP3: "Hangin On"

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