Sometimes something comes along that jumps out of the speakers and hits you right between the ears. Sine Star Project sound like they’ve been beamed down from another planet, which is the sort of statement that can get you into trouble if you haven’t got the songs to back it up.
Sine Star Project’s ambitious, delicious debut album, Blue Born Earth Boy is a mellifluous musical mosaic that picks you up and brings you down to earth again with a bump – all in the space of a perfectly performed 42 minutes. Peter J Croissant – multi-instrumentalist, multi-talented creative captain of Sine Star Project is one of the few true originals of modern music, although tellingly, neither he nor anyone else quite knows it yet. It’s only a matter of time.
Music runs through Peter J. Croissant’s family like a stick of Blackpool rock. As a teenager, Croissant immersed himself in his father’s huge and eclectic record collection, something that left an indelible mark on the music he is now making with Sine Star Project. Although Croissant is classically trained in piano and brass, he plays with a creative freedom and a sense of bravery that is rare in someone from such a conventional musical background.
Having played in various groups, in the mid 90’s, Croissant formed Savalas in his native Southampton, but young egos, musical conflicts and over ambitiousness got the better of them and the whole thing collapsed. Around this time, Croissant’s best friend committed suicide.
Feeling utterly shattered, Croissant put his music on the back burner. After a couple of years, he decided to go down his own road, whether anyone else was going to follow him or not. In the last few years, Croissant has been cutting his teeth and learning his trade working as a producer and engineer on a host of bands, most notably The Delays. Sine Star Project were formed from the ashes of Savalas with bass player, Karl Evans, alongside drummer Alec Lowe (full name: Alec Olsen Magsen Lowe III, who is actually 17th in line to the Swedish throne), and guitarists, Mike Davies and Dan Little. Oh – and just in case you were wondering, the name, Sine Star Project is an anagram of Peter J. Croissant.
As is the case with most truly original albums, the influences that have informed Blue Born Earth Boy are pretty tricky to pin down, although you can hear glimpses of everything from the Buckleys (Tim and Jeff), Elliott Smith, Aimee Mann, Love, Ry Cooder and Pink Floyd to The Flaming Lips, American Music Club and Grant Lee Buffalo…even Berlioz and Bruckner.
Croissant’s fragile falsetto and delicate, wistful compositions seem to come from some long and secret tradition that seems to have become lost in the translation of modern times. You get the impression that under the calm and unruffled surfaces of Sine Star Project there are complex and deceptively deep currents that could drag you under and drown you in sound. Placing this music into a musical category is like trying to shoot fish in a barrel full of water. Sine Star Project is not the sound of the underground or the sound of the overground. Back in the 50’s, American critic, Whitey Balliett once described jazz as ‘the sound of surprise.’ This is the sound of avant-garde rock music played with a free jazz attitude and a razor sharp set of songs with soaring melodies and breathtakingly beautiful words. Open your ears and dive into Sine Star Project’s chic and unique first album – a multilayered, multicoloured ocean of sound. Blue Born Earth Boy truly is the sound of surprise.