Release Date: May 19, 2009
Record label: Our Secret Record
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Pop, Electronic
On their third album, Still Night, Still Light, the dreamy trio Au Revoir Simone don't do anything too differently than they did on their previous release, Bird of Music. The basic structure of the sound (vintage synths/keyboards and drum machines) and voices (winsome leads and rich harmonies) is firmly in place. The palpable feeling of introspection and melancholy is still there, the gentleness of the melodies and sweetness of tone is present also.
When it comes to decorum, Brooklyn's Au Revoir Simone makes Judith Martin look like Don Rickles. They have three voices, three keyboards, and a drum machine in their arsenal, yet each element stands out from the gleaming propulsion with razored precision, as if the band were constantly saying, "No, after you." They deliver inspirational-kitten-calendar platitudes that would make Whitney Houston blush with disarming directness, their plain yet dulcet voices arranged in fussy group harmony-- excessive melisma being, after all, simply immodest. The band's egalitarian and mutually supportive dynamic pays off on the harmonious Still Night, Still Light, their third and best album.
Since forming at the back end of 2003, Brooklyn trio Au Revoir Simone could almost be identified as the antithesis to those artists hellbent on re-inventing the wheel. If anything, their philosophy is based more around the simple thesis that "primitive = good" and with an unparalleled love of analogue synthesisers, vintage drum machines and succinctly tailored harmonies, the three-piece have become something of a cult phenomenon on both sides of the Atlantic, pertinently illustrated by the fanfare of cheers that greeted the announcement they were to co-headline this year's Indietracks, Europe's biggest celebration of all things minimal, lo-fi and incessantly twee. Musically of course, Au Revoir Simone really can be summed up by the simple adage that what you see is what you get; from the slightly off-kilter minimalism of 2005's Verses Of Comfort, Assurance And Salvation through to the more commercially viable, mature pop sensibilities of its successor, The Bird Of Music, their music has a timeless, distinctive air about it that is pleasing on the ear, if not always the most vivacious in terms of excitement and austerity.
Brooklyn's Au Revoir Simone specialize in a dreamy, washed-out keyboard pop. In some ways it's similar to the blissful drone of Stereolab, but they have some of the Postal Service's knack for understated electronic hooks. They've been riding a wave of buzz, and it isn't hard to appreciate their appeal. [rssbreak] They've got their formula thoroughly worked out and have a good grasp of their strengths.