Au Revoir Simone: Verses of Comfort, Assurance, and Salvation
This slight (28 minutes) but memorable album (or EP) is the work of three girls who sing in sweet unaffected voices backed by slightly old-fashioned-sounding synthesizers and drum machines. The effect may be intended as nostalgic, a supposition strengthened by the “wah-ah-ahh”s and “ooo-wah”s in the vocals. What it conveys to me, though, is not so much desire for a synth-pop revival as naivete and relative innocence. It’s not hard to imagine the group beginning with three teenaged friends fiddling around with the electronic keyboards that can be found these days in many or most suburban homes.
The songs are irresistibly tuneful, romantic, and a bit melancholy, or maybe just wistful. The album’s devotional title (Catholic in origin, perhaps?) doesn’t seem to have any direct connection to the songs, but it certainly fits the atmosphere. I referred above to the artists as girls, which is not generally considered good form, but this is a girlish album, and I mean that as a compliment: it’s sweet, though not the least bit sugary, and full of hope and longing, as young girls ought to be, rather than prematurely jaded and embittered by having given themselves too soon and too often to the unworthy. There are some indications here that they may have started down that road. This male listener who’s undoubtedly more than old enough to be their father feels protective toward them, gets a welcome touch of emotional springtime from their music, and hopes they don’t eventually give us Verses of Sarcasm, Anger, and Depression.