St. Lucia’s second full-length release is the most exhilarating collection yet. The record finds a more sophisticated and bold Jean-Philip Grobler grappling with themes of getting older, battling with insecurity and self-doubt while balancing maturity and ambition. It’s a St. Lucia record though, so even the darkest moments are bristling with infectious vitality and hook-fueled charisma. Writing the songs, however, required Grobler to change up his process from 2013’s ‘When The Night,’ the debut album he built from the ground up playing nearly every instrument himself in his Brooklyn studio.
Lead single “Dancing On Glass,” which was co-written with Tim Pagnotta (Walk The Moon) on a west coast writing trip, bubbles over with contagious vivacity as Grobler sings about having the faith to chase what makes you happy, even if logic and practicality tell you it’s bound to fall apart. On the heart pounding “Physical,” he taps into primal lust, while “Help Me Run Away,” co-written with Jack Antonoff (fun./Bleachers), serves as a ode to Grobler’s adopted homeland of America. The album isn’t without its progressive side, though, revealed in songs like “Rescue Me” and “Home”, whose synth lines propels the tunes through countless electronic twists and turns.
Though synth-pop has been an easy and reductive label used to categorize St. Lucia, most of the songs on Matter feature as much electric guitar, explosive percussion and complex brass arrangements as synthesizers. Nearly every track on the album contains horns and multi-part vocal arrangements, their sophistication reflective of Grobler’s lifetime of music study.