Au Revoir Simone – The Bird Of Music

Au Revoir Simone
The Bird Of Music

On their second album, The Bird Of Music, Au Revoir Simone has created a new kind of pop music. On the surface its simplicity of keyboards and drums lend itself to being labeled “twee,” (perhaps the worst label for music of all time) or new wave. But the complete package is a new brand of indie rock geared for the adolescent in every jaded hipster.

Men and women alike will easily fall in love with the idea of these 3 ladies singing sad, yet hope filled love songs over pulsating keyboard rhythms and drum machines , but for very different reasons. Men for example will long for these songs to be sung to them personally. Even now as I push 30, I yearn to hear someone tell me they’ve been thinking of me so much they can only sleep an hour at a time, as on “Stars,” one of the many stand out tracks, just as I did 15 years ago bumbling around high school in all my awkwardness. The album cover alone resonates with what we want; long flowing hair cascading down the lovely back of a beautiful woman. And the back cover entices the romantics in us to take a dip with such a person, hidden in darkness. Women on the other hand will long for someone to sing these songs to and perhaps be envious of the soft voices to do so. Not to mention the ability to hold such power over us weak minded fools.

Despite the naiveté Au Revoir Simone project, there is an empowering nature in their music and aesthetic, which they are quite aware of. From a composition standpoint the keyboards flow between each other seamlessly , as do the vocals. Lyrically they push the emotional buttons the artwork projects. “Sad Song” opens with the lines “play me a sad song, ‘cause that’s what I want to hear/I want you to make me cry.” This is the exact song to play when that special someone is found & asks this of you.

As the album progresses, each of its 11 songs become better than the previous one. Instead of merely relying on drum machines as they did on their debut album, live drums appear on several tracks, opening up the sound. Not only is each song better than the last but different in its intricacies and melodies, never allowing the keyboard/drum routine to get stale. As outstanding as each song is, The Bird Of Music hits its best run midway through with the triumvirate of “Dark Halls,” “Night Majestic,” and the aforementioned “Stars.” “Dark Halls” is full of a propulsive rhythm and all 3 feature beautiful melodies. If you’re heart doesn’t melt when they hit the “calculator and a ruler, baby” line in “Stars,” well then you’re probably just too jaded for them. “Night Majestic” is about a horse which could either lend itself to the young girl innocence or a metaphor that I can’t even begin to comprehend. Either way, I want to be the one to win that blue ribbon.

This is not to say Au Revoir Simone doesn’t get some criticism. From being too simple or being accused of being long on looks and short on talent, it could be seen a valid statement based on the out of nowhere “success” of their first album. How far could you take a formula such as this? With The Bird Of Music being this strong that criticism no longer holds water. These ladies have found a way to grow their sound to new affecting levels.