Everyone had physical after-school activities as a youngster, which could have included dance class, gymnastics, Boy Scouts or a bevy of sports. This was not the case for Active Child frontman Pat Grossi, who spent his time as part of the Philadelphia Boys’ Choir and Chorale as a child, honing his transcendental voice. Grossi brings this unique experience to his intergalactic style of music, live and in studio.
Active Child’s debut album, “You Are All I See,” was released in November last year, and is a quintessential album in the galactic-indie genre. His musicianship is vast and grand, employing the use of classical instruments, such as the harp, and also laptop-based ‘80s electronic sounds. He also incorporates his extensive choir voice that has brilliant range, dancing between alto and soprano with ease. The result is something almost intangible because of the complexity of emotions contained within each song: scathingly intimate and notably abandoned in the same moment.
The album opens with the title track, sounding as if the first light of day is peaking over the eastern mountain horizon and not shying away from the use of the harp. It leads into one of the star tracks, “Hanging On,” which is emotionally tense from beginning to end. Grossi’s vocals put the listener in a contemplative, meditative state, letting his voice explore the higher reaches of his range. Creatively, the entire album blends together, yet each song portrays itself as the result of some exploratory mission into the endless universe.
“High Priestess” blurs the line between organic and electronic sounds, something to aspire to for other musicians of this genre. It’s this sense of incorporating fundamentally simple sounds with the sounds of the electronic cosmos that makes Active Child a hauntingly fascinating artist, lingering long after the strum of the harp.
Active Child’s live shows have garnered rave reviews and San Diego will have the chance to dance to the nearest star cluster with Grossi and his band tonight. Active Child plays at 8 p.m. tonight at the Loft at UC San Diego. Tickets are available for $16 through the UCSD box office and all ages are welcome.