Recently, as I’ve been looking for new music and revisiting some of my favorite artists, I’ve picked up on a stage name trend: saints. This title is dignified and powerful, making it popular among many musicians. In particular, there are 5 saints making music that you definitely need to check out.
South African-born Jean-Philip Grobler is the man behind the moniker of alternative synthpop group St. Lucia. JPG once revealed how he came up with the name for his musical project: by closing his eyes and randomly picking a place on a map of South Africa. He said, “…in that moment everything kind of made sense because I went there as a child on vacation and it’s also a tropical place close to the ocean and it fit with my music. It was this perfect marriage of name and the music I was making.”
St. Lucia’s sound is both electronic and organic, mixing rock and jazz instruments with high-energy, 80’s influenced synth beats that are both summery and dreamy. This combination creates lush, lively songs that will have you wanting to dance on a beach somewhere.
Keep an eye out for St. Lucia’s second full length album, Matter, coming out on January 29th.
If you’re looking for an over the top, energy-driven band to groove to, you’ll be interested in the Los Angeles-based Saint Motel. Once, the band discussed the unorthodox origin of their band name. Apparently, the band was once, “in the middle of a political controversy” with their old name and had to make a switch. When deciding on a new name, they liked the contrast between “darkness, sin, and noir related to the image of a motel, with sainthood.”
If Saint Motel’s music had to be described in one word, it would be galvanizing. With catchy piano and brass riffs accompanied by cheeky lyrics, lead singer A/J Johnson creates jocular hits with a disco flare that are sure to make you want to dance.
You can catch Saint Motel at Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware on June 16th.
One of the most unique saints I’ve encountered thus far has to be St. Vincent, otherwise known as Annie Clark, an eccentric singer-songwriter and musician from Texas. Her stage name is a middle name used in her family that has been passed down for generations.
St. Vincent’s music has often been labelled as a mixture of art rock and baroque pop. Her latest release, the deluxe edition of her self-titled album St. Vincent, consists of heavy synth pulses and quirky electric guitar riffs complimented by lyrics themed on both artificiality in the digital age and raw human emotion.
New to the music scene, Danish duo Andreas Waze and Ericka Casier Ramos make up Saint Cava, an experimental R&B group. Their music has a mysterious vibe which is amplified by their miniscule online footprint. While not much is known about the creators themselves, the music found on their first EP, Bliss, speaks volumes with its dark and enigmatic melodies.
Despite not having a large internet presence, Saint Cava has made their mark in the world of live music, playing major festivals such as Rosklide and Trailerpark 2015 as well as supporting Angel Haze at Pumpehuset in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Hailing from Fremantle, Western Australia, Olivia Gavranich is the mind behind the musical project she named St. South. Olivia has discussed the origin of her stage name: “I grew up in a small country town South of Perth. And even after moving to the city, heading South always meant heading home. I guess it was a way for me to pay homage to my childhood, and everything that made me, me.”
St. South’s sound is entrancing and chilled, mixing deep tranquil beats tinged with jazz and folky vocals. While there is no official date yet, replies to fans on Facebook reveal that there will be and EP coming out this year. Until then, give St. South a like on Facebook and enjoy mini clips of her covering a plethora of artists.
Now that you know a little about these amazing saints, take a listen to their music below!
Piece by Carly Suplita | @trxpico