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Au Revoir Simone – 'Move in Spectrums' album review

The New York indie trio outgrow quirky melancholy to make an empowered dancefloor record

Au Revoir Simone – Move in Spectrums
By Dominique Sisley |
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Dusting off the drum machines after four years of parenthood, solo projects and microbial ecology (Heather D'Angelo published her thesis on the subject last year), wistful electro dream-poppers Au Revoir Simone return with their first release since 2009’s critically acclaimed ‘Still Night, Still Light.’ These three women are known for their delicate ditties of sun drenched romanticism and lo-fi yearning: this is melancholy dressed up in dungarees and pigtails, drawing flowers and playing a synthesizer to its cat. Or rather, it was.

‘Move in Spectrums’ offers a bolder, ballsier sound. It demands to be played much louder than its predecessors, with lots of new keyboards, stronger beats and a clear agreement on a more bombastic sound. With producer Jorge Elbrecht (of Violens and Lansing-Dreiden fame, and a recent collaborator with Ariel Pink) on board, this new direction is confident and empowered, ditching the naïveté and the navel-gazing and opting for the dance floor. These are unfamiliar waters for Au Revoir Simone, but they dive in with gusto and their efforts pay off.

Tracks like ‘Somebody Who’ (the first single from the album, and a truly great slice of electro-pop), anthemic kiss-off ‘Just Like A Tree’ and dance floor scream-along ‘More Then’ are all highlights. You get the impression that Au Revoir Simone have written the majority of these songs with the intention of hearing them blaring from an ’80s Mustang, past midnight, with a perfectly coiffed James Spader behind the wheel.

Despite this, the album doesn’t depart completely from the band’s signature softness: some tracks (‘We Both Know’, ‘Love You Don’t Know Me’ and ‘Hand Over Hand’) are beautifully breathy and as gossamer-light as ever. On the whole, though, ‘Move In Spectrums’ is a strong and catchy selection of ethereal pop that does exactly what it sets out to do: to push things forward for Au Revoir Simone. They’ve found some sass, and it’s exciting to think of where they might go next – assuming it’s not another four years before we hear from them again.

Dominique Sisley, 24, is a student from Finsbury Park. She was selected to write this review as part of the Time Out Takeover – a special edition of the magazine written entirely by our readers. Buy this album here

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