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.
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.
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.