Sasquatch Artist of the Week: Active Child

Nine weeks ago, the Sasquatch Music Festival lineup was released to much fanfare. Like all festivals, some hated the lineup while others loved it. For the more levelheaded, it appears to be a very balanced lineup with a deep undercard. From here on out we will be underscoring the lesser-known Sasquatch artists by highlighting a different artist each week. Beyond delving into each artist’s bio, sound, etc., we will attempt to give some insight into what will make their performance at Sasquatch so amazing.

Some of the most captivating music is made when artists seek to combine elements from a variety of styles, generating distinctive, unique subgenres all their own. Additionally, I am always fascinated by artists who draw from their own wide-ranging (if not traditionally related) talents, amalgamating their skills to create something entirely novel. It is no surprise, then, that I was instantly drawn to the music of Active Child, the production moniker of New Jersey native Pat Grossi. Grossi has crafted what I consider to be a truly unique combination of the new and the old, the majestic and the innocent. As a child, Grossi began soaking up music as a member of the Philadelphia Boys Choir. He was also heavily influenced by the heavy, epic rhythms of ‘80s dance bands such as New Order. Add in his dexterity on the classical harp and a propensity for expressive lyrical imagery, and you have a musical entity that is both idiosyncratic and extraordinary.

In his work as Active Child, Grossi manages to fuse his own exquisitely naïve choirboy-style falsetto vocals (reminiscent of the work of James Blake and Justin Vernon) with powerful ‘80s synths and deep, sweeping drum patterns. The dramatic rhythms and crisp handclaps present in the choruses of several Active Child tracks evoke some the same feelings brought on by the work of M83. Additionally, the delicate, angelic qualities of the live harp provide a certain ethereal quality, counterbalancing the intensity of the other instrumentals. Active Child’s music is part classical masterpiece and part electronic gem.

Rossi released a cassette-only EP called Sun Rooms in early 2010 via Mirror Universe, and then went on to release a second EP, titled Curtis Lane, on Merok Records in May 2010. Curtis Lane was received well by various critics, and in August of 2011 Grossi released a full-length album titled You Are All I See. He has since toured with both James Blake and M83, proving himself as a strong performer as well as studio artist. On his tour in August and September of 2011, openers included Com Truise, fellow Sasquatch! 2012 performer and Artist of the Week feature. Active Child’s Sasquatch set will be on Sunday evening at the Yeti stage.

Below, watch the videos for “Playing House” (featuring How To Dress Well) and “I’m In Your Church At Night.”

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