Brooklyn-based songwriter Jean-Philip Grobler performs under the name St Lucia, a genre-redefining electronica outfit that caused plenty of buzz at a handful of summer music festivals this year. St. Lucia's first LP, When the Night, embraces the sound of a once relevant Brooklyn, as well as the pop sensibility of contemporary giants from the early '90s.
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Grobler hails from Johannesburg, South Africa, but established himself as one of the most talented musicians making music in an otherwise dormant city. St. Lucia could easily bring Brooklyn back into the spotlight as it was back when Grizzly Bear and MGMT broke. Just as the aforementioned acts did years ago, St. Lucia offers a refreshing, invigorating taste of talent and inspiration. Listeners can't help but enjoy When the Night with every inch of their bodies.
This Neon Gold release hits hard right from the start, making your feet move and your body bounce wherever you happen to be. There's nothing left to do but groove when you begin this record.
Grobler's voice has an earnest quality to it, while still maintaining the attitude and expression needed to make each song into anthemic dance numbers. Touring member Patricia Beranek, adds vocals throughout the album, adding yet another layer to the structure of this group's first full-length album.
The production on When the Night is out of this world. Mixing synthesizers, drum machines and samples is certainly commonplace for the genre, but the involvement and intentional emphasis on the alto saxophone is easily the most admirable quality of this record. Based on the composition and dynamics, any of these songs could be featured at dance clubs.
Calling an act a "buzz band" or something of the like is usually met with distaste rather than respect, but St. Lucia's When the Night deserves a listen.
Stream When the Night right here: