It’s a beautiful, breezy, blue-sky day in Portland, the kind of summer day you always fantasize about when it’s February and you can’t remember the last time you didn’t feel cold, wet, or hunched over. It’s the kind of summer day that makes every experience seem memorable or important, even if it’s the same routine you’ll be grumbling about in six months. There’s something about the light, the warmth, the colors of the sky, the smell of the warm air, the sound of leaves rustling in the night wind – it adds a layer of beauty and fantasy to everything you do. Sometimes it’s enough to remind you that the long summers of your childhood are still within reach, and the excitement and adventure of your teen years can still be found if you seek them out.
St. Lucia has always been able to evoke those same feelings for me. They’re one of those bands that have the power to transport, to dig out old memories you’d forgotten you had, to conjure images of places you haven’t been: dark blue saltwater stretching to the horizon, sun-warmed rocks, heavy green palm trees casting shade on white sand. Their music is dreamy, buoyant, and wistful, all at once. It makes you long to go back to something you never had in the first place.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting a full-length follow-up to last year’s flawless self-titled EP, and it looks like I’ll finally get my wish. St. Lucia just announced that “When the Night” will be out on October 8, and to whet our appetites, we also get “Elevate,” a funky, upbeat, reverb-drenched single in the vein of “Closer Than This” and “We Got It Wrong.” Jean-Philip Grobler’s strong, unique voice shines on both the mellow verses and the danceable choruses; check out the complex percussion throughout and the funky, “Sussudio”-esque bassline at 3:15. Recommended listening with the windows down, the wind in your hair, and the sun on your face. Preferably with a hint of ocean breeze in the air.