Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Au Revoir Simone. The Bird of Music (2007).

Remember Julee Cruise? David Lynch elevated Cruise to star status after using her as a singer on the soundtrack of Blue Velvet, then as a recurring lounge singer on TV series, Twin Peaks. He literally elevated her before that in his performance piece, Industrial Symphony No. 1, where she sang suspended from a harness, dozens of feet in the air. Music is very important to Lynch. He gave a big break to composer Angelo Badalamenti when he used him for Twin Peaks and several films, even casting him as a piano player in Blue Velvet, and collaborating with him as a co-songwriter. Few people other than Lynch fanatics are probably aware that he released a recording of his own music co-written with John Neff, called BlueBob, on which he plays guitar and effects.

David Lynch is now an enthusiastic fan of a trio of young women from Brooklyn, called Au Revoir Simone.

They even shared a stage with Lynch at the Barnes and Noble at Union Square last January for the "Upstairs At The Square" writers and artists series. They've played at fashion shows, had their songs placed on TV, and they're currently on tour with Air.

The girls all sing and play keyboards, but their new CD is filled out with 'cello, violin, trumpet
and trombone. Wistful but not wimpy, their music is sweet and enchanting. Fallen Snow has a staccato organ part reminiscent of The Beach Boys, and the synths in I Couldn't Sleep interlock like medieval counterpoint. Even in tunes with titles as sombre as Sad Song, Dark Halls, and Night Majestic, the beats are bouncy and percolating.

They have a deft hand with harmony. The keyboard parts are composed with subtlety and they are able to shift time signatures with undistracting ease. The lyrics are personal, reflective and intimate. They sing in a straight, unemotive style.

Let's join the girls as they prepare for a fabulous dance party.
Sad Song:

Even though their their music is a bit synthetic and chilly, their visual presentations emphasize a fragile, warm and organic quality.

Fallen Snow is actually about the cold of winter, but here the girls are meeting a friend to fish for some peculiar objects on a warm summer's day.
Fallen Snow:

I can see how David Lynch would appreciate Au Revoir Simone. They present an innocence that is not simplistically naive but seems to be a premeditated construct, purposefully chosen to explore an angle of popular music that is personal and has nothing whatsoever to do with what is trendy or commercial. It's remarkable that the three individuals have worked together as a unit in creating this integrated, introspective world of delicate charm.


Bill said...

I like this very much, find it impressive and think I remember you from 'The Beige channel' or 'centibel' or someplace.

'Fallen Snow' reminds me slightly of 4 Bonjour's Parties 'Satellite' , not only in the sound and the arrangement; the quasi-rustic and aquatic theme seems congruous with 'Pigments Drift Down To The Brook'. Also , the use of french for hello , or goodbye in the group names seems deliberate.

I'm not accusing anyone of copying , it's quite an accomplishment in either case; I was more excited to think of it as almost being a genre.

Nice Bunny Ears.


m v farley said...

Yep, that would be me! I can't comment on your comparison because I'm not familiar with the group you mention, but I appreciate your thoughts and I'm glad my blog provoked some ideas. Thanks for reading Bill!

Bill said...

This might get you closer: 4 Bonjour's Parties at Japan Onchi

There is another group to which I was listening which have perhaps a congruous vibe (?) and some unusual tastes. Here's a translation from their weblog which I found inspiring:

"Insects! West of the channel under the pine trees.
Yesterday, the Henna MODESUTOROI friend's name refers to the planned event, so I have to live.

Song list
3 new songs
4 Melodies & Memories
5 Road Movie

It was fun. Since the start it was a long 3:00 without a rehearsal is challenged, but they KIRIKIRI is always, always the first place? The imperial court CHAIMASHITA吸WA.
How long cried out for a long time and do it in front of ramshackle darkness.

Arai's the carrot and not a bear nsects! West of the channel under the pine trees.
Yesterday, the Henna MODESUTOROI friend's name refers to the planned event, so I have to live.

GROUP MODESUTOROI and tingling of the best performers. Valley井土months guitar and a smile on my daughter's passion.
Yeah, feelings ruler Kazama love of the Corporation.

And a very nice pine compositions have been recorded, and sometimes it is good research. Please see the sides on YouTube. "

Perhaps the translation is misleading, I'll find you the link if you express interest. I'm getting a bit tired of webbing.

Nice Belt, or Bent Lice


m v farley said...

The "translation" is priceless! Sounds like something I could relate too (in what way, I'm not sure, just an intuition). Let me know more if you're around this way again.

Bill said...

I don't know much...

That last group I mentioned have a website somewhere with mp3s, videos , photos. I think they are mostly a duo and seem to be forming an actual ( with drums and bassist) performing group. I'm fairly sure one of the members may be found here.

Seems rather drifting away from the original topic, yet maybe it isn't.

Ah, here.