Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Jean-Philip Grobler grew up performing with the Drakensberg Boys Choir School, learning everything from Bach to minimalist opera. St. Lucia was born out of a moment in early 2010 when Grobler was looking to the past for inspiration. Growing frustrated with a rock project that was starting to feel forced, he delved back into the music that had first inspired him: Fleetwood Mac, Peter Gabriel, Madonna and other songs from his youth.
After setting up shop in a small studio in Brooklyn, Grobler began to experiment with these new influences and open the lid on his new project. Teaming up with friends Nick Brown, Ross Clark, Nicky Paul and Patricia Beranek to perform live, Grobler was signed to HeavyRoc Music after grabbing the attention of NYC production team The Knocks. Shortly after, St. Lucia partnered with Columbia imprint Neon Gold Records—and the band’s song “All Eyes On You” was used in national advertising campaigns for brands including Victoria’s Secret and Taco Bell.
St. Lucia’s previous releases—2012’s “September” EP and self-titled EP—transported listeners to decades past while staying firmly rooted in the present, drawing out melodic bravado and euphoric energy while discarding any trace of the saccharine. When The Night, the synth-pop outfit’s full-length debut expands upon St. Lucia’s unique brand of dreamy, nostalgic pop. Produced by Grobler, When The Night features additional production and mixing from Chris Zane (Passion Pit), Rich Costey (Muse, Foo Fighters) and Andy Baldwin.
Grobler remains heavily involved in projects outside of St. Lucia, serving as producer for the debut album by Brooklyn-based labelmates HAERTS, remixing songs for bands including Passion Pit, Foster the People and Charli XCX, and collaborating with DJs ranging from The Knocks to RAC. St. Lucia has recently toured with Ellie Goulding and Charli XCX, performed at festivals including Lollapalooza, Governors Ball and Firefly, not to mention shared stages with fun., Two Door Cinema Club, Young The Giant, The Shins and more.
Just last month, St. Lucia released their highly anticipated full-length debut, When The Night. Named one of Teen Vogue’s “13 Most Exciting Albums Coming Out This Fall” amongst artists like HAIM and Lorde, When The Night has received rave reviews, with Esquire describing the album as “unapologetically synthed-out, highly danceable electro-pop.” Ladygunn says the album takes “the listener on a journey into a blissful state of consciousness,” while Interview describes the album as “atmospheric electro-pop coupled with dreamy synths.” When The Night is available now on iTunes at http://smarturl.it/WhenTheNightiTunes.
The mysteriosos behind Sir Sly are dark knights in the truest sense. Since first making their presence known last summer, the LA outfit have been running the tastemaker underworld with their monochromatic blend of vigilante pop, leaving onlookers with nothing more than a pair of explosive tracks and a hero-shaped shadow to go on. So it's with great pleasure that we're able to pull the curtain back today and unveil our next release, as we bring Sir Sly's debut 7" into the world on Neon Gold next month in conjunction with our UK sister label, National Anthem.
Sir Sly is not one sir but three - Landon Jacobs, Jason Suwito, and Hayden Coplen to be precise - who have been hard at work for the past few months writing, recording and producing all aspects of their debut offering in Suwito's studio. From the arresting cold open to the ever-restless denouement, lead A-single "Ghost" doesn't just pass our every litmus test, it passes right through it, swimming through a fog of wartorn synths and floating with timeless melancholy in an ocean of unforgotten pasts. Elsewhere, the vinyl's AA-side "Gold" - for which the band have put together the perfect visual accompaniment (below) - jangles with moody desperation and reckless abandon, while digital-only B-side "Where I'm Going" delves deeper into the depths of the trio's doom-and-gloom pop noir.
-Neon Gold Records