If anyone was worried that Erika Spring was going to use her new EP to experiment with changes to the Au Revoir Simone sound, they can breathe easy. Just because Spring has temporarily separated from the on-hiatus Brooklyn trio doesn’t mean she’s striking out in new territory. Her self-titled EP is a short and breezy collection of tunes, 24 flavors of synth keyboard stacked on the same cone.
That Spring’s own music is inextricable from that of Au Revoir Simone’s doesn’t have to be a negative thing; the band’s close rapport makes them like that three-headed dog in Greek mythology, only instead of slobbering mouths, they’ve got good hooks, flowy dresses and bangs. In that sense, Spring is using her EP to carry on the torch until they can reunite, and producer Jorge Elbrecht (of Violens) provides adequate reinforcements for Spring’s filmy sound.
So we have the big chugging drums of “Hidden,” the slow groove of “6 More Weeks,” the signature gossamer vocals of “Happy At Your Gate.” Spring’s sweetness won’t give anyone aspartame poisoning, but it does have the power to change a song’s effect. “Like A Fire” is so full of synth twangs and twinkles and soft “doo-doo-doos” that it sounds innocent even as she sings, “I feel like a fire/That just got turned on.” And “When Tomorrow Comes” comes off as a little sickly in its earnestness, like a synth-pop version of “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.”
The Erika Spring EP will give established fans (Spring’s group has been around for almost ten years) all the elements they crave, and Elbrecht’s production bolsters Spring’s well-crafted tunes. Solo albums don’t have to be radical departures – in Erika Spring’s case, when the Au Revoir Simone sound is so unerringly pleasant, why mess with it?