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Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light

Au Revoir Simone, Still Night, Still Light

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

INCREDIBLE to believe, but Au Revoir Simone – the Brooklyn-based ‘girl group with a difference’ – are already up to their third album. If Still Night, Still Light is anything to go by, the first two will be worth seeking out.

Described as a leap on from previous work, Still Night, Still Light contains elements of both innate warmth and melodic darkness that draws favourable comparisons with the likes of Saint Etienne and the Swedish pop fraternity of Lykke Li and Robyn.

The Au Revoir Simone [aka Heather D’Angelo, Erika Forster and Annie Hart] first began to gather pace in 2007 when the girls delivered synth-pop album, The Bird of Music, which was greeted with almost universal acclaim.

It was an album populated by tales of thoroughbred horses, comets and stars, compasses and rulers, the lonely dark of winter and the unyielding landscape of Iceland, a body of work that walked listeners into Au Revoir Simone’s unique world with striking dexterity.

In contrast, Still Night, Still Light assumes a more ethereal approach, exploring reflection, seeking, questioning and losing one’s way home – whilst retaining that synth-based sound.

Former single and album highlight Shadows speaks about the fear of change over frenetic Rhodes keys, imbuing the vocals with urgent, dark synth undertones before breaking out into rainbow chorus. It’s beguiling in the same kind of ethereal way that Lykke Li plys her trade.

But it’s by no means the whole story. Album opener Another Likely Story is ethereal, ambient, cinematically lush and yet intimate lyrically. It’s a lovely entry point.

All Or Nothing and Knights of Wands contain a strong sense of melody and upbeat positivity, while album closer Tell Me brings things to a layered, intricate and strangely thrilling finale.

In between, it’s worth listening out for Take Me As I Am, another of the firm highlights thanks to its frank lyrics and gentle simplicity.

Just occasionally, their sound becomes a little repetitive and, dare I say, wishy-washy (with tracks like We Are Here and Anywhere You Looked among the culprits). But by and large, Au Revoir Simone look set to continue their rise and critical adulation in typically classy fashion.

Download picks: Another Likely Story, Shadows, Tell Me, Take Me As I Am

Track listing:

  1. Another Likely Story
  2. Shadows
  3. All or Nothing
  4. Knight of Wands
  5. The Last One
  6. Trace a Line
  7. Only You Can Make You Happy
  8. Take Me as I Am
  9. Anywhere You Looked
  10. Organized Scenery
  11. We Are Here
  12. Tell Me