Harbouring a love of synthesizers and vintage drum machines, Brooklyn trio Au Revoir Simone made their UK debut with the release of mini album, 'Verses of Comfort, Assurance and Salvation', on Moshi Moshi Records on October 31st. Offering up a generous helping of charm and intelligence, 'Verses...' is a lesson for us all in what expertly layered synths, ethereal, heart felt and heart-rendering vocals, dreamy melodies, and palpitating drum machine-induced disco beats should sound like when properly woven together.
Au Revoir Simone started life in the Fall of 2003 when Erika (Forster, keyboards & vocals) and Annie (Hart, keyboards & vocals) first became acquainted on a long train ride home to NYC from a weekend getaway with friends. Along the way they exchanged stories and ambitions, and discovered that they shared a common desire to form an all-keyboard band. When they returned to NY, they started meeting regularly to play music.
After a time their friend Heather (D'Angelo, drum machines, keyboard & vocals) started joining in at these informal bedroom band practices, which also included former member Sung Bin Park (keyboard & vocals). Before too long, they started playing shows around NYC and Brooklyn. In January of 2005, Sun Bin left the band and the girls started anew as a trio. Keyboards found their natural home in the hands of Au Revoir Simone (or perhaps it was the other way round). A romantic notion it may be, but fate you might say had had a hand in their meeting - born out of a common love of synths then, Au Revoir Simone came to be.
The band's influences could be likened to a dutifully mined musical thrift store. Alongside the racks and railings of sometimes mismatched but wholly treasured records occupied by Modest Mouse, Stereolab, Mountain Goats, Louis Prima and Pavement, the likes of the Beach Boys, Bjork, Broadcast Belle & Sebastian, Bowie, the Beegees and Billie Holiday also take their place. Erika too harbours a love of German label Morr, specifically artists such as Guther, Lali Puna and Ms. John Soda.
Made principally using keyboards, drum machines and hand percussion, Au Revoir Simone's sound is defined by their instrumentation. In their own words, and to put it simply, they make "warm and organic electronic music with forthright female vocalists". This, the band's debut, was named after a tiny book Annie received in the post one day at work entitled 'Verses of Comfort, Assurance and Salvation'. The title seemed to capture perfectly music's ability to make you feel, but more specifically how the band's music was making Annie and the rest of the girls feel - complete, inspired, and happy. Recorded in Brooklyn, in their friend/producer/manager Rod's basement apartment (to be more precise in fact, recorded in a former shower stall rigged up with quilts and fancy microphones to resemble a vocal booth), 'Verses..' was a lot of fun to make..
In their travels, they began to explore what it means to be gone from the places and people they love, while simultaneously coming back to those people again and again, only different each time. Exploring the complications of distance and closeness, they started to write a batch of new songs.
Au Revoir Simone are:
Heather D'Angelo: drum machine, keyboard, vocals
Erika Forster: Keyboards, vocals
Annie Hart: Keyboards, vocals