Album Review: “Move In Spectrums” by Au Revoir Simone

Album Review: Move In Spectrums by Au Revoir Simone

“It’s a long time coming;/ A long time gone away.” Murmured gently over a harsh bass rhythm in the track “More Than,” those opening lines of “Move in Spectrums” clearly describe the past four years for Au Revoir Simone. The trio has been pretty quiet on the music scene ever since the release of their melancholy effort, “Still Night, Still Light.” Luckily for fans, their patience was rewarded with a studio offering that displays the maturity that only a lengthy hiatus could offer.

Au Revoir Simone is undoubtedly a standout from the mass of indie pop artists who have congregated en masse on the Internet over the past decade. It would be superficial to deem the band as “the Andrews Sisters of the electronica scene.” Though all three keyboardists often sing together, their signature harmonies lie not in their vocal talent but in the variety of instruments only 21st-century technology could offer, from synthesizers to sequencers. The result is an eclectic mix of streamlined dream pop full of quiet wisdom, only rivaled by Azure Ray.

“Spectrums” is no exception. The musicians have perfected their craft over the years, and it shows in the lush production of tracks like “We Both Know,” which is mainly dominated by a rich, pulsing instrumental that turns in a haunting track with the brief inclusion of the vocalists. “Gravitron” likewise sheds past preconceptions of Au Revoir Simone’s saccharine bouts, instead creating a sci-fi musical aura.

Nonetheless, it’s sometimes hard not to wax nostalgic for the off-the-wall bent that marked Au Revoir Simone’s early career. “Spectrums” does sometimes seem to dangle pieces of past work, as if to remind listeners of how much the band has grown. “Just Like a Tree” is largely reminiscent of the quirkiness in “Disco Song” from the band’s debut, albeit the former has a few problematic moments when it sounds like a knockoff of The xx. “Spectrum”’s hands-down winner, however, is undoubtedly its latest single “Crazy” — a fun mixture of the band’s past youthful catchiness and a refreshing, addicting, unprecedented guitar riff. Au Revoir Simone repeatedly sing the eponymous verse, which effectively sums up their career shift: “You girls, you drive me crazy/ So let’s take another road.”

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