Friday, 20 September 2013

Au Revoir Simone - Move In Spectrums

Album review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk


With some bands an absence of just a year or two can feel like an age (get a move on, Tennis!), but others can go lengthy periods of time without releasing material with that sabbatical barely being felt, and this is no slight on their music, definitely not in this case at least. "It's a long time coming, a long time gone away". I wonder how many other reviews will quote the opening couplet of the fourth album from Brooklyn electro-dreampoppers Au Revoir Simone? It almost doesn't seem believable that it's been nearly four-and-a-half years since their most acclaimed album, 'Still Night, Still Light', but that's the gap we've endured. In 'Move In Spectrums' we find out whether it's been worth it.

At the risk of giving an early spoiler, we can say that it probably has been worth the wait. Somehow 'Move In Spectrums' feels less experimental than some of their past work, but maybe that's an illusion created by the rest of the music world catching up. After all, electro-pop and dreampop have both enjoyed sizeable revivals in that time period. That opening track, 'More Than', is almost mainstream in sound now that so many others have jumped aboard this particular musical ship, but Au Revoir have always existed on the periphery of the mainstream and in that respect not much has changed, they may have just crept a touch closer than before. With 'Crazy' they may even have a potential hit on their hands; there haven't been many better songs in this genre recently, other potential single material arrives in 'Gravitron'.

More innovative sounds can be heard on the slower 'The Lead Is Galloping' and 'We Both Know' (this is a particular highlight), 'Love You Don't Know Me', 'Hand Over Hand' and the reflective 'Boiling Point'. Despite songs of this nature making up a large portion of the album, ultimately 'Move In Spectrums' will likely be remembered for a series of stellar electro-pop songs, almost as if the band chose to return and remind people how this type of thing should be done. For examples then head for 'Just Like A Tree', 'Somebody Who' or the aforementioned 'Crazy' and 'Gravitron'. 'Move In Spectrums' is an album that ebbs and flows, it has peaks but not quite troughs as the standard stays high throughout. As with the beginning, final track 'Let The Night Win' starts with the fitting line "Is it over?". Yes, it is for now. But hopefully not for such a lengthy period this time.





Download 'Somebody Who' for free from Au Revoir Simone's website

Buy the album

Catch them live:

20th Sept – Heart of Glass Festival, Ruoms
24th Sept – Sudpol, Luzern
25th Sept – Stall 6, Zurich
26th Sept – Sala Vertigio, Rimini
27th Sept – Circolo deli Artisti, Rome
30th Sept – Kantine, Berlin
1st Oct – Meet Factory, Prague
2nd Oct – KC Dunaj, Bratislava
3rd Oct – Waves Festival, Vienna
4th Oct – Circulo Bellas Artes, Madrid
5th Oct - Aula Magna, Lisbon





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