Pat Grossi, aka Active Child, is no stranger to the stage. Now residing in Los Angeles, Grossi grew up in the northeast as a member of the Philadelphia Boy’s Choir. Since, he’s gone on to release two renowned EPs, an LP, and toured the world. “Singing with the choir was my first experience performing,” he reflects, “but it wasn’t until I was called out of the group and sang solo that I really felt the rush of live performance. I used to get so nervous for those solos, standing knees locked in anticipation of that moment when I would be summoned to step forward.”
Fast forward to present day and we see Grossi at center stage once again on his sophomore full-length, Mercy. “I’ve always been a vulnerable performer and writer. This is nothing new. But the new style of production in regards to my voice was almost entirely due to a change in taste. In the past, effecting my voice with reverb and doubling was exciting, but now it bores me. When you remove those layers there’s an undeniable authenticity. But there’s no deep meaning behind the change. Its speaks for itself. As you grow you sing differently, phrase melodies differently, and produce differently. Everything is always changing based on what excites you in that moment.”
Serving as a follow up to 2011’s critically acclaimed LP, You Are All I See, and 2013’s Rapor EP (featuring Mikky Ekko and Ellie Goulding), Mercy showcases Grossi’s raw, honest, and incredible vocals like never before. “On Mercy I wanted to feel new again in my own music. It’s been four years since my last full length album and I wanted these songs to reflect my growth as an artist over that time. And I wanted my voice to be heard, and not just felt.” Produced and recorded in Brooklyn with Van Rivers (Blonde Redhead, Fever Ray) the ten track LP is a collection of love songs, each shining a different light on the subject. “This album more than previous releases feels like more of a collaboration between the producer and I. His fingerprints are all over these songs and he really pushed me vocally, more than anyone has before.”
Written almost exclusively on the harp and piano, Mercy opens with “1999,” a juxtaposition of playful harmonies and sullen narrations of past love. Effortlessly descending from one track to the next, upbeat songs like “Never Far Away” tell of deep, secure love, while those like “Darling” tell a more somber story of lost love as Grossi plucks innocently on the harp in the background. “Darling has always stuck out to me. Sometimes the simplest phrases and thoughts can encapsulate the most complex emotions. When I wrote that song I was about as low as I've ever been and of all the songs it's the one that truly felt like it was given to me. It passed through me quickly…the best ones usually do.” Mercy closes with “Too Late,” a song of reflection and regret featuring Grossi on the piano and his layered, flawless-yet-ghostly harmonies on the forefront. The album wraps with the words, “maybe it’s too late for us, now I know, now I know,” leaving the listener with some finality to the whirlwind of heartfelt emotions experienced throughout
“After writing for a few years I started to wonder what the purpose is of writing another song. You question the validity of each statement, each lyric, until you start to drive yourself crazy with doubt. This is an artist’s worst fear: that loss of vision. As I worked through this doubt I started to make sense of why I write and what moves me to create. And for me the real motivation is emotional clarity, without music as an outlet I’m not sure how I would cope.” Mercy will be released nationwide on June 16, 2015 via Vagrant Records.