Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound Engineering by Patrick Stolley
The way the three members of Au Revoir Simone regard all that surrounds them is by collecting and collecting, all of the neurons, all of the bursts, all of the fluttering poetry that flies into their faces like invisible mists and the flashbulbs - only perceptible to them -- that mentally capture those times worth/not worth forgetting. It's hard to tell which they'd like more to do - forget or remember. Most of the subject matter on the group's jaunty new record, The Bird of Music, is delicate and melancholic, but authentic, one can plainly hear. The thoughts, most times very personal and specific ones - about a distinct night and a distinct person now popularized in song - were obviously lived and taking them back isn't really an option at all. Their method of description involves wallflowering and involvement to the extent that it's all going in the ledger, it's all going to be absorbed as if some third party were directing the scenes and then it's all going to be replayed using a battalion of adorably keyed machines and enough cool emotion to knit its own sweater vest and stocking hat.
One of the most absurd imaginings would be witnessing any of the lovelies - Heather D'Angelo, Erika Forster or Annie Hart - really angered, just pissed off mad, with the veins in their necks and temples raging large and their faces glowing red with blood and temper. One pictures them always finding the restraint in the heat of the moment and then later diving into the ordeal again back in the comfort of their own homes and setting forth with the proper autopsy. And that's what they dispense publicly, those results that come possibly by fireside and definitely with a free-to-use sad feel.
The sadness and longing in Au Revoir Simone songs is surprisingly comforting as if the sadness can only exist that way, refreshingly matter of fact and just a way of the life. It's not cold sadness, but one of full body, a mature variation of it that will metamorphose into something that can stand on its own strong legs. A lot of it isn't really sadness at all, but it carries the stark underpinnings of what sadness is all about - as if it were a prelude or an indication of what could be to come. All three, with their respective contributions, seem to view the feelings that they're tackling in a puppy dog way, exploring loss and new beginnings to love in ways that are themselves new again.
Two photos in the booklet that comes inserted with the album are indicative of their typographical leanings - the ways in which their words can be seen as written upon papers. One is a two-gate scene of a vast, overgrown meadow - all green leaves that just looks like a forest's soft belly. It looks like a lake of greenery, ripe for a cannonball, but thus far untouched and graceful in its simplistic beauty. The other photo, found on the back panel of the disc, shows the girls in white undergarments by the edge of a vast black pool, looking into it as if spying carelessly jutting fish just below the invisible surface. They appear to be contemplating getting into the water with them, letting them lovingly violate their skin with wet, open-mouthed kisses - a mobbing of scary affection, a gumming by piranha. It would be a painless dip and yet the way they're poised on the brink of the pool, they might never take it, but they'll think about it. They'll think the hell out of it and feel all of those little amphibious smooches whether or not they ever jump.
The Daytrotter interview:
*When you got off the phone after hearing that Air liked you and wanted to take you out with them? That tour's already happened right?*
Erika: We are actually leaving on Monday and begin the tour with a show in Copenhagen on November 12th. And yes, we have had an amazing year, but hearing that AIR was interested in having us play some shows with them was such an amazing and wonderful surprise! And even better was when we played a festival with them in France this summer and got to meet them and see their show.
*How do you regard this good fortune you've had?*
E: I think we all feel incredibly grateful for the opportunities and experiences that our band has led us to.
*Did Ramesh and the Voxtrotters treat you alright?*
We fell in love with Voxtrot on tour. I mean, we already loved them when we met playing a few small shows together three years ago, but we really looked forward to meeting up with them at the venue every night. They bring such great energy to their shows and their fans are so sweet. They also often helped us carry our gear back to our van at the end of the night and let me sing on stage with them on my favorite song.
*What do you love in your love songs?*
For me, it's all about moments in life that take you out of the routine. A cool breeze, a lovely, lone tree I spot from the car window or a sweet looking family or thinking about someone from my past who, even if I don't see them anymore, it makes me happy to know that they are alive and contributing to the world in their own way. I think it is all the same feeling. joy i guess.
*What have you been sad about recently?*
Tonight, I was sad because I talked to my mom in Colorado and she has had a really terrible cold for about three weeks and she sounded so weak and she said she can barely get out of bed. It made me so sad that I'm in NY and can't really do anything for her or take care of her.
*Do you often get compliments about your backs?*
Actually, no. That is so funny. But sometimes I'll be selling merch at our shows and someone will ask if I'm in the band and I'll point myself out on our CD cover and they kind of look at me like I'm crazy because there is obviously no way to prove it.