Author: Bridget Benevides
Boy oh boy have things been busy for me, and probably you too. So, let me tell you about the stress cure that I think we all could use: a concert. More specifically, St. Lucia at The Showbox. St. Lucia’s genre is indie synthpop and infectiously catchy. If you like Saint Motel, Electric Guest or Paperwhite than this might be the show for you.
Front man Jean-Philip Grobler is a South African singer and musician based in Brooklyn. Along with Ross Clark (bass guitar), Nick Paul (keyboards, synthesizers), Dustin Kaufman (drums) and Patti Beranek (keyboards, percussion, backing vocals), they are St. Lucia!
Hyperion is the title of St. Lucia’s third record. The process was as soul-searching as Grobler has found album writing to be – life had changed a lot. Firstly, Grobler and his wife (bandmate Patricia Beranek) found out at the end of touring their previous album, Matter (2016), that they were pregnant. Beranek miscarried, but the idea of parenthood nestled itself deep within Grobler and he began to seek an evolved role for himself. The other change was that the professional stakes felt higher. In fact, there was a point at which Grobler faced the question of whether Hyperion might be St. Lucia’s final offering…
Grobler had become disassociated with traditional songwriting paths, particularly the LA sessions scene. He pondered about his inspirations and studied the craft of some of his most cherished albums. He felt a strong need to be similarly self-sufficient. The solitary voyage he would go on was riddled with self-doubt, confusion and uncertainty.
Grobler wanted to go old school with the album’s manifestation: playing as a band in the room with his co-conspirators – Ross Clark, Nick Paul, Dustin Kaufman and Patti. First, however, there needed to be songs, and with Grobler (a self-professed “musical hoarder”) there were many thoughts to work through.
His motivation is more than just songwriting, or performing live. Grobler seeks to generate a movement, a belief system, a religion almost. It’s supposed to sound like church, it’s supposed to make you feel joyous and purposeful. It seeks to bring light into your darkest hours.
“I think that we need more positivity,” he concludes. “Not in a brain-dead way where we don’t acknowledge problems, but rather to show there’s a way to overcome them. You can make reactionary music that is negative and aggressive, but I gravitate towards the things that feel more inspirational. Social change has often come from a positive force, not an anarchistic one. How can you make your life the most enriched positive thing that it can possibly be?” If you’re asking a similar question, St. Lucia would like to help guide your way. (Story courtesy of St. Lucia’s website.)
St. Lucia is coming to The Showbox in downtown Seattle on Wednesday, October 10. Doors open at 7:30 pm and the show begins at 8:30 pm. This is an all ages event. Tickets are on sale here.
BRIDGET BENEVIDES| Exceptionally ordinary | KXSU Music Reporter