St. Lucia: Matter

Posted July 15, 2016 by in Indie pop



4/ 5


Genre: , ,
Producer: , ,
Genre: Synthpop, indie pop
Producer: Jean-Phillip Grobler, Benjamin Gebert
Label: Columbia
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 53:47
Release Date: 29 January 2016
Spin This: "Dancing on Glass," "Do You Remember," "Game 4 U"


Buoyant first half blessed with highly-decorated melodies and '80's synth explorations


Back of the disc slips a little in grabbing attention

Indie pop singer breaks out with one of the poppiest synthpop albums of the year

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Indie pop singer breaks out with one of the poppiest synthpop albums of the year

stlucia-01NYC-based synthpop singer St. Lucia, born Jean-Philip Grobler, first made waves with 2013’s When The Night. The disc fell under most people’s radar, despite being picked up by Passion Pit label Neon Gold, and much later Columbia for mass release. On Matter, St. Lucia’s second album for Columbia, the South African born musician (along with his band) is drawing on a cloudburst of ‘80’s synthpop magic and radiant melodic riffs, polishing things up heavily using a broader paintbrush of appealing pop. The otherworldly New Wave exploration of “Do You Remember?” opens up the eleven-track journey, and it’s sing-a-long nirvana. What follows is just as magnetic and orgasmic: “Home” stuns with its rapid pacing and Duran Duran posturing, while “Dancing on Glass” sounds like it was cut so perfectly from the best of Eighties pop radio, thanks to its warm synths, a heavenly chorus. Inside the lyrics, St. Lucia isn’t afraid to plant words of logic across the milky sounds about the dangers of our youth and the chase for danger: “How long ‘til we learn/Dancing is dangerous/How long ‘til we find the devil inside of us.” He’s so good at pulling off this pop-hypnotic stuff that he sounds like a 21st century Simon LeBon on Tears For Fears. The electro disco inside “Physical” and the glorious ballad tease of “Game 4 U” are also pleasant gifts to the ear.

The back of the disc isn’t as intoxicating as the first half, but it isn’t marred with bad tracks, either. “Love Somebody” has him serenading a track primed for sexy ‘90’s Quiet Storm playlists, while “Help Me Run Away,” sporting a highly-repetitive chorus, treks the bubbly Glen Frey’s “The Heat Is On.” Only “Rescue Me” seems to be a bit self-indulgent, taking a little too longer for lift off with its minute-long intro.

If one really believes that synthpop was on a decline, Matter aims to prove them wrong. It ultimately proves to be a delectable offering in the genre, a stronger reprise to When The Night, and props up to be one of the year’s finer albums.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response


Please support HIFI Magazine
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better