(from Curtis Lane out now on Filter Recordings)
Curtis Lane is the first substantial release from Active Child’s Pat Grossi, a choirboy-turned indie pop musician who’s making some of the most beautiful music coming out of L.A. right now. I’ve been dying to get this EP for months. After seeing Active Child live, there no doubt in my mind that this was going to be an incredible record. “I’m in Your Church at Night” is a stunning opener with soaring echoing vocals that readily suggest the collapsing church in Perugia, Italy, that apparently inspired the song. Previously released as a 7” on Filter, “She Was a Vision” and “Voice of an Old Friend” are both still gorgeous songs and serve as good short-hand for Active Child: haunting-yet-comforting atmospherics built with layer upon layer of shivery vocals and synths. “Take Shelter” and “Weight of the World” mark a transition into more pronounced beats as Grossi experiments with dance production. They’re skillfully composed but not quite danceable—harp and thumping house is a bit awkward. Closing track, “Wilderness,” is my favorite— the (previously released) track that sold me on Active Child in the first place. I am slightly disappointed by this EP—not because of the music, but because most of the songs aren’t new. It’s reasonable since Active Child’s previous releases are sold out. Still—I just want more!