Child Actor is a fast-rising duo that has already produced a wealth of its hypnotic, intense blend of blissful electronics, R&B and indie rock in a remarkably short period of time.
Max Heath’s omnivorous production and Natalie Plaza’s innocent, dreamlike vocals comprise the elements of Child Actor’s sound. They set themselves apart from their electronic peers with an unusual depth of songwriting and an uncannily intuitive feel for human emotion, making for an affecting combination of euphoria, nostalgia, melancholy and haunting transcendence.
Genre touchstones abound, but Child Actor’s affinity for lush cinematic arrangements, hushed intimacy, dreamy shoegaze, and carefree ecstasy have netted them comparisons to M83, My Bloody Valentine, the Chromatics and Grimes. Meanwhile, the vital hip-hop underpinnings of their music make them a natural fit in recent guest appearances for artists like up-and-coming Charlotte, NC rapper Deniro Farrar and cloud rap pioneers Blue Sky Black Death, including a couple of particularly memorable turns on the latter’s forthcoming Glaciers.
Promise EP, a free offering in preparation for the release of their upcoming sophomore LP, Never Die, serves up some of the duo’s most rewarding and stylistically diverse—not to mention just plain fun—material yet. From the sublime soft-focus majesty of opening track “Everything Falling Star” to the Cyndi Lauper-indebted self celebration of closer “Mirror,” the EP finds Child Actor eagerly reeling ever more material into its musical grasp. A highlight is a ground-up reimagining of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World,” resulting in a riveting, surprisingly urgent dance floor workout. Meanwhile, the title track conjures slow-motion synths and drugged out subs to embrace Plaza’s simple, spiraling plea: “Don’t go before I get to know you and you know me too.”
Child Actor emerged in early 2012 as a collaboration between Heath and his cousin Sedgie Ogilvy. They rode a wave of goodwill after digitally releasing a pair of well-received EPs (Partner & Window) for free. Ogilvy left the group shortly after the release of their acclaimed debut LP, Victory, and Plaza took over for the group’s first national tour, immediately becoming an essential presence.