Everyone at KZUU has a pretty diverse taste in independent music. With managements strong musical opinions dominating the preview racks. One artist has found common ground between all of us and that is the melodramatic sounds of L.A.’s “Active Child”. His debut album, “You Are All I See” is up-front and personal leaving the listener vulnerable to the highs and lows of this album. On first listen, the vocals tend to replicate those of City & Colour’s Dallas Green but the sound design is much more elaborate and complex.
It seems odd to hear harps floating in the background of his haunting sound but it tends to work with many tracks in the album. It brings mystery and a subtle energy to Pat Grossi’s vocals. Active Child catches an R&B vibe with highlight track “Playing House” which features How To Dress Well’s Tom Krell. Each toss back and forth verses that you could find on a R&B influenced Drake album.
I find the album’s most innovative efforts in tracks such as “Hanging On” and “Johnny Belinda”. Hanging On is vulnerable yet catchy at the same exact time, which makes perfect since that it would be a single for this album. Its the perfect entry into “You Are All I See” featuring almost everything this debut has to offer.
One track that made me completely sold on this album was the final track “Johnny Belinda” which may very well be one of my favorite tracks this year. It’s ‘big’ sounding, by that I mean Pat Grossi may actually be recording it in a giant cathedral, which ultimately gives the listener a very cinematic experience. With harps and strings floating helplessly in the background and Pat’s vocals as the centerpiece, the listener is left emotionally invested in the track.
Now Active Child’s “You Are All I See” might be too dramatic to many listeners on a first listen but that doesn’t mean you should rule it out, because it may very well be worked in to some mainstream hip-hop album next year. This is definitely an artist to keep your eye on.