You step through the colossal wooden doors of a grand temple; the doctine of which, you are unaware. It’s eerily desolate, save for a few lost souls spread far amid the pews. It’s dim, and the lit candles project shadowy beings onto every surface. The barely visible glass etchings near the ceiling cast images of obscurity and beauty. You walk down the long aisle, and take a seat near the front. A hooded figure takes a seat behind a harp, and sound fills the hall . . .
Here’s an album that I’ve personally been anticipating for a quite a long time. Mercy is the latest release from harpist/vocal-aphrodisiac Pat Grossi under his Active Child moniker. However, this time he’s brought along producer mastermind Van Rivers (known for his work with Fever Ray and Glasser), and the collaborative addition succeeds in enhancing Grossi’s trademark sound in the most tastefully transcendent ways.
Active Child is known for two distinct trump cards: a soaring, choir boy falsetto, evoking a classier, more composed How To Dress Well, or perhaps a sexier, more sensual Bon Iver; and a rare inclusion of the divine sounds of the harp, Grossi’s instrument of choice in the studio and onstage. The mixture is simply majestic and, mixed with the stellar songwriting present on this record, succeeds greatly in provoking bodily chills.
Rivers is what truly sets this record apart from other Active Child releases, though. Grossi’s previous album, You Are All I See, opted for glossy, sickly-sweet instrumentation, but Rivers plunges Grossi’s angelic voice in nebulous, subtly-complex rhythms and synths. The contrast is wonderful, especially on “These Arms” (perhaps the best Active Child song, to date). If you’re seeking glistening, sensual r&b, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)