In this current musical climate, where being first has taken the place of being good, where so much importance is placed on remaining fresh at the expense of actual talent, and where the collective attention span is so small that it often flicks right past anything that sounds familiar, it’s really not that hard to see why Active Child has seen mostly lukewarm response to his debut full length album. It’s really easy to call him James Blake or How to Dress Well plus harp interludes, but ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to argue that such comparisons are unfair to this release. With You Are All I See, Pat Grossi has released a singular piece of art that determines to be looked at in its own light, without being reduced to lazy comparisons to other airy voiced electro fetishists.

Without a doubt though, those comparisons are fair as reference points. ‘Way Too Fast’ certainly has shades of James Blake, and ‘Playing House’ features Tom Krell of How To Dress Well himself, but there’s a key difference that keeps these tones feeling fresh and altogether independent from the others. Where Blake and Krell, make inward focused music, Grossi’s efforts here seem to be gazing outward. The minimalism present in the aforementioned artist is replaced by an ornate grandiosity present in songs like ‘See Thru Eyes’. Far from a James Blake song, the synths and absolutely gigantic drum fills suggest something more like M83 as fronted by a choir of angels. This album is really a much bigger album than anything that his supposed compatriots have put out to date. Big in the sense that he really takes up all the sonic space available, ‘Ivy’ soars where Krell and Blake sulk.

The aforementioned ‘Playing House’ and ‘Hanging On’, the other single that’s seen the light of day prior to the actual album release are certainly the first that’ll sink their teeth into you. My notes that I wrote down upon my first listen of ‘Playing House’ say, “Sexy, Awesome”, and I’ve yet to come up with a phrase that better encapsulates what I believe may be the song that I’ll come to listen to most this year. It really is just outstanding, two of the luminaries of this burgeoning castrati falsetto scene working together on one track was sure to not be disappointing, but this might be one for the ages. ‘Hanging On’ too explores some of the same tones as ‘Playing House’, but it is in it’s own way more distinctly an Active Child song. It recalls much of what Grossi explored on the Curtis Lane EP last year, but the production is immaculate. The harp and bass provide a skeleton that Grossi’s voice fills out in hauntingly beautiful ways. But while those are the obvious singles, there’s a depth that extends far beyond those two tracks. Deeper into the album, ‘Way Too Fast’ takes a sparser arrangement and a vocoder aided take from Grossi, and spins it into something incredible. The climax of the song is the exact sort of thing that other artists in this vein lack. ‘Sword and Shield’, the track that directly follows is another curiosity. It borrows just as heavily from industrial as it does from choir music, and it works brilliantly.

We just have on our hands a complete set of fully realized songs, replete with astounding vocal lines and harp runs. While there are a lot of artists writing songs with similar motifs, Grossi has managed to record this album in a way that remains truly fresh and innovative. This is one that should be sticking around for a while.