The appeal of the undoubtedly sweet, Brooklyn-based Au Revoir Simone surpasses the fact that its three members are gorgeous women. The band's sound is mature but not complex. Lush synths are coupled with tinkling piano, revealing songs that ostensibly soundtrack flowers blooming, suns rising, and smiles forming. So there's room for suspicion or boredom when approaching this collection of songs, which borrow from Broadcast's 2005 treasure, Tender Buttons, as well as Stereolab and Belle & Sebastian. How could something be so sweet and not turn sour by the end of the eight-track album?
But the band's full-length, Verses of Comfort, Assurance, & Salvation, is titled appropriately, as if it were labeled to make sure it would never be filed on an inappropriate shelf. The alluring lyrics blend into the songs, the harmonizing vocals of Heather D'Angelo, Erika Forster, and Annie Hart resonating like indie-rock sirens. The shadowy tinge of "And Sleep Al Mar" touches on some of the darker, slower intimacies of Ladytron albums past, but it's "The Winter Song" that casts the strongest spell. Keyboards, voices, and a drum machine are the only tools needed to build a track that has such calming effects, like a mother soothing her child.
The worth of this band and album isn't in their ability to stand apart from their influences. Rather, the members embrace those influences with open arms, absorbing them into their innocent songwriting that turns mesmerizing after several spins. Their sonance soothes the soul, heals the wounds, and wraps a warm sound of invitation around their listeners. "I just thought that you should know I'm feeling better every day," they sing. Closer "Stay Golden" sends us off with sadness and hope, a constant balance that the album tries to maintain with empathetic songs akin to familiar circumstances.
"Through The Backyards" MP3
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