Move In Spectrums is Au Revoir Simone’s fourth album, and their first release in over fours years. The girls have followed a variety of personal paths during the group’s hiatus, including finishing biology degrees, solo albums and various exciting musical collaborations. They have also spent time developing a new collection of vintage keyboards in preparation for their work on this highly anticipated new record.
The new release follows on from the critical and commercial success that was Still Night, Still Light, and indeed, Move In Spectrums does feel like a natural follow-up to that previous body of work. It is perhaps closest in feel, approach and instrumentation to 2009’s work than any of the trio’s other albums, although it must be said that the classic Au Revoir Simone vibe is apparent from track one.
There is however a fair degree of music progression and experimentation on the new record, with the girls trying out some new timbres, as well as revisiting some Au Revoir Simone classics. These ladies love a saw-tooth wave and faux-accordion sounds, but they have also thrown exciting new instruments into the mix, adding intrigue with phasers, eerie pads and fat synth bass lines. Boiling Point in particular exhibits these exciting experimentations nicely, rich as it is with swirls of dark, pressurised synth.
Like previous works, this album is filled with tales of love and loss, personal self-exploration, metaphors and natural themes. These are expressed through the same vocal style the girls are famous for – clipped, crisp enunciation that is steady and measured, lifting to ethereal chorus vocals comprising of three collected harmonies in complete synchronisation. Each track on Move In Spectrumsalso maintains subtly catchy vocal hooks, which fill choruses and heads for days.
This classic Au Revoir Simone vocal style, combined with the girl’s dreamiest of dream-pop music create an auditory tapestry of perfect femininity – beautiful, soft, other-worldly yet earthly and organic. The girls themselves of course represent this, but what is most interesting is that the music is the best representation of this ideal offering a complete and pure representation of that type of feminine.
This new release is a strong album – all the tracks are interesting, dynamic and enjoyable. Some tracks are more instrument heavy than others, offering washes of sonic colour, and the single tracks Crazy and Somebody Who are perhaps the most commercial on the album, but these differences are nuanced and subtle. Essentially, through this album these girls have once again proven themselves consummate, consistent performers and creators, and this is another fine body of work to enjoy.