wears the trousers magazine


au revoir simone: still night, still light (2009)
May 4, 2009, 9:44 am
Filed under: album, mp3, review | Tags: , , ,

a_lp_aurevoirsimone_09

Au Revoir Simone
Still Night, Still Light •••½
Our Secret Record Company

Having made a name for themselves with two albums filled with hazy sunshine indie-pop and last year’s fanbase-widening remix project Reverse Migration, Au Revoir Simone’s third album Still Night, Still Light arrives with a weight of expectation not really seen with their previous releases. The internet is buzzing with random facts about the band, such as they were named after a line from ‘Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure’, that they are favourites of master of the bizarre David Lynch, and that they once appeared in an article in Vice magazine headed “I wanna bone Au Revoir Simone”. That’s just lovely, but the real appeal of the Brooklyn trio – who could pass for sisters with their matching pale skin and long dark hair – lies in the unusual multilayered electronic music they make with their bank of keyboards, and the contrast between that complex, artificial sound and their much simpler, natural voices.

With the band’s popularity running higher than ever before, you might expect Au Revoir Simone to up the ante and go for a more accessible sound. In fact, Still Night, Still Light does the opposite and lends a noticeably but not overpoweringly darker overtone to their music. There are singalong moments, notably in the chorus of the busy ‘Knight Of Wands’, while the explosion of merry energy that is ‘Anywhere You Looked’ still surprises even after a handful of listens, but Still Night, Still Light is generally downbeat and mellow. Songs like ‘We Are Here’, ‘All Or Nothing’ and ‘The Last One’ drift calmly along, as unhurried and relaxing as a pedal boat excursion on the lake in Prospect Park, buoyant ripples of keyboards bobbing along with casual purpose. On the best tracks, Au Revoir Simone command an almost church-like reverence with Erika, Annie and Heather’s vocal arrangements more akin to a heavenly choir than to indie-pop figureheads, and this is perhaps where much of the album’s grown-up feel comes from. The organ-styled synths of ‘Only You Can Make You Happy’ serve to underline this association with pleasing results.

For a band with such a strikingly complex and original sound, Au Revoir Simone veer towards a more pedestrian lyrical style, and the subject matter tends to be of the sweet and simple variety. Often you can guess fairly accurately how the verses will unfold from the title alone. But whereas this predictability might annoy with other bands, Au Revoir Simone’s blissful serenity somehow becalms this niggle until it becomes nothing more pressing than an afterthought; actually, you might grow to think, it’s nice not to have to wonder what they are really on about. Indeed, if there is anything negative to say about Still Night, Still Light, it’s simply that it might be a little too nice. This is thoroughly pretty, largely unobtrusive stuff that lends itself to quiet nights in rather than pulse-racing fun – soothing rather than exciting – and that’s alright by us.

Hugh Armitage
UK release date: 18/05/09; www.myspace.com/aurevoirsimone

 

FREE MP3: Au Revoir Simone, ‘Knight Of Wands’ [via NME]

Advertisements

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

[…] 03 Tori Amos – Live at the Savoy Theatre 11/5 [Léigh Bartlam  15/5] 04 Au Revoir Simone – Still Night, Still Light [Hugh Armitage 4/5] 05 Peaches – I Feel Cream [Chris Catchpole 18/4] 06 Sharon Van Etten – […]

Pingback by Q2: 50 most read reviews « wears the trousers magazine

[…] What we said then: “With the band’s popularity running higher than ever before, you might expect Au Revoir Simone to up the ante and go for a more accessible sound. In fact, Still Night, Still Light does the opposite and lends a noticeably but not overpoweringly darker overtone to their music… On the best tracks, Au Revoir Simone command an almost church-like reverence with Erika, Annie and Heather’s vocal arrangements more akin to a heavenly choir than to indie-pop figureheads, and this is perhaps where much of the album’s grown-up feel comes from.” •••½ Hugh Armitage […]

Pingback by best of 2009: readers poll results #30-21 « wears the trousers magazine




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: