REVIEW: Matter

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St. Lucia’s sophomore album Matter ushers listeners into wide open spaces in a charming and retrospective journey.

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St. Lucia is a New York by way of South Africa indie pop outfit that hearkens back to early Duran Duran and Tears for Fears while embracing some modern dance textures.  Synths bounce and bubble on the more upbeat tracks, and they simmer with groovy basslines when the mood slows down.  Frontman Jean Grobler’s are clear and powerful (and, having seen the band live, I can testify that they are barely altered), and in Matter they are pushed to delightful new levels.

Matter is an album of contrasts and sharp textures, which gives the songs a punchier tone while also allowing for more empty space in the soundscapes.  While St. Lucia’s sophomore effort is just as vibrant as their debut When the Night, it isn’t nearly as lush.  Not only are the sounds of Matter more direct, but the lyrics follow suit.  This allows some sensuality to creep into some songs, but the album mostly stays in an innocuous place.

This shift to pointed production styles moves the band in a new direction without sacrificing what made them great in the first place.  In this way, St. Lucia has abandoned the notion of a “sophomore slump” by adding an album to their discography that complements its predecessor and not one that’s merely a polar opposite or a repeat.  Matter is a joyous celebration of synthpop that begs to be enjoyed many times over.

Check out the band on their social media, watch their deliciously weird video for “Dancing on Glass” below, and catch them on tour this spring.

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