St. Lucia             
St. Lucia EP
Neon Gold/Columbia
Street: 03.06.12
St. Lucia = New Order + Chicane
Virtual one-man band and Johannesburg native Jean-Philip Grobler’s joyous, self-titled EP is something of a small marvel. Following a relatively simple formula of classic beats, infectious melody and a positive vibe presently missing on most radio these days, he has crafted a group of six tracks that are both pleasant and refreshingly memorable. There isn’t a bad song here, including “The Old House Is Gone,” with its nice, disco-y vibe and “Before The Dive,” where he sounds like he’s channeling happier-era New Order. Even his ballads, “All Eyes On You” and “Paper Heart,” stick to the formula, which just goes to show what a big difference having an element of positivity to one’s sound can make it pleasant, listenable and perhaps most important: lasting and memorable. The 80s-sounding “Closer Than This” hints at the promise of a storming full-length, presently rumored for fall. –Dean O Hillis