Close your eyes and try to imagine what would happen if you intertwined twinkling harp strums with dubstep beats and shimmering synths. Got it? Now, infuse that ethereal mélange with a PBR&B vibe, and top it all off with sorrowful, multitracked vocals. Doesn’t sound like it should work, but Pat Grossi has nailed the mesmerizing brew as Active Child. Released last November, Grossi’s full-length debut, You Are All I See,elaborates upon the transcendental pop textures that garnered his 2010 Curtis Lane EP so much buzz.
The L.A. dweller’s musicianship goes back to his childhood, when he spent years singing in a Philadelphia church choir—an influence that shines through his grand, atypical songs, which sound like Nicolas Jaar working in a cathedral. Grossi is a self-professed obsessive, and you can hear it in his painstakingly detailed compositions, in which laptop-produced beats layered with classical instruments (primarily organs and the aforementioned harp) back his meticulously trained voice, leaping from tenor to falsetto with precision and abandon.
Active Child presents a genre-blind vision, pulling together strains of Bon Iver’s glacial mysticism, M83’s epic electronic pop and James Blake’s subdued dubstep (Grossi has toured with the latter two). Labeled everything from choral R&B to bedroom indie pop, Grossi’s music can chill your spine as easily as it possesses you to dance. Classifications aside, Grossi brings his dizzyingly beautiful act to town for two nights this week—let the spiritually enlightening listening begin.—Marley Lynch
(Admirers of Clams Casino and Burial should check out Balam Acab, a.k.a. wunderkind PA producer Alec Koone. Joining them on Friday is captivating quartet New Moods.)
Follow Marley Lynch on Twitter: @marleyasinbob