[ALBUM STREAM] St. Lucia: When The Night + Exclusive Interview
St. Lucia has created the perfect escape with When The Night, where lush romantic memories and expansive synth laden melodies wash away any lingering darkness with a mesmerizing euphoric glow. The ten song collection is an expertly crafted experience from start to finish confirming St. Lucia's place among pop icons like Peter Gabriel and Genesis. This is pop music at it's very finest.
When The Night is an album I have been waiting over two years to experience - from the first intoxicating notes of 'All Eyes On You' and the spellbinding chorus of 'Closer Than This' - I knew this would be an album worth waiting for. St. Lucia has exceeding every possible expectation and created an album that I have been unable to stop listening to for weeks. When The Night has left me completely lost for words, so I will let it speak for itself.
I was fortunate enough to catch up with Jean Grobler the man behind St. Lucia and ask him a few questions about the making of When the Night, touring, and how growing up in South Africa shaped his musical perspective.
KKS: How did growing up in South Africa influence your music?
Jean: Growing up in South Africa the government banned music it felt was subversive, we were shielded a great deal from the international music scene. What made it through was the music that much of the US & UK saw as guilty pleasure 80's & 90's pop, like Phil Collins. For me the was just pop music, I grew up without thinking this is really poppy or sell out music. That influence comes through very strongly. It wasn't until I was 17 and in Liverpool that had any association with pop music being "sell out" or "bad music". It was then I got into Interpol and thought this is the best music, but in time I came full circle and found myself looking to come back to the happiness of childhood.
KKS: When The Night has been done, in some form, for over a year. How did the album change from a year ago and the final product we have today?
Jean: Originally the album was done in September 2012. We had a big push to get it there, to make that original deadline. I was doing everything by myself and spending money as wisely as possible. Once it was completed Patty and I took time away to get married. I was able to spend some much needed time away from it. Once I returned from getting married I spent some crucial time with the album and realized because I had done so much myself I could use an outside to ear listen and refine what I had created. I had spent the label's advance by this time and went to the label and asked if they were willing to invest in it. Columbia pretty much trusted me with artistic direction and they would only help push to make things better, they willing to invest. This gave me the opportunity to work with Chris Zane who produced Passion Pit & Holy Ghost!. We spent 12 days together mixing each track. We wanted to have the most talented engineer possible to create the final mix, so we waited for 3 months to work with Rich Costy. It was during this time while on the road 'When The Night' was written. This was the last addition to the album.
KKS: One of my favorite tracks was left off When The Night. Why didn't "Before The Dive" make the cut?
Jean: This was a HUGE DECISION. What really made us decide to not have it be a part of the final album was that it had its moment. It was a single, with a video, it had had its time in the sun. 'Closer Than This' was never a single, it never got its moment. 'Closer Than This' still needs its moment. 'Before The Dive' is one of the tracks I am more proud of, it won't disappear.
KKS: I know St. Lucia is you, but how has St. Lucia become more than you? You have been touring with Nick, Nick, Ross, & Patty for over a year and half now. How has this changed St. Lucia.
Jean: Overall I still feel it is a solo project. I do a majority of the studio work. When you're on the road it is hard to get into a collaborative head space when you are crammed in a van rushing from city to city. That said Patty is more involved and a part of the whole process and 'Elevate' was co-written with Ross and he is really responsible for its bass line. We will be sound checking and and Ross and Nicky will start jamming and play something jazzy in the background this could easily be what sparks something and make its way onto the second album.
KKS: How has it been touring with your wife?
Jean: Of course it is a great thing, and so much better than not seeing each for six months at time. Though an important part of a relationship is the negative space, we do need time apart and away. We often find ourselves looking for alone time together more than wanting to be apart. On tour you all become close friends, you share rooms to save money and share vans over long distances, you can often go a month and literally never have a moment together.