Au Revoir Simone - Move in Spectrums (4 stars)

A more mature collection of synth-pop gems from the previously twee group

Au Revoir Simone - Move in Spectrums

(Moshi Moshi)

Au Revoir Simone have been crafting gentle, sunshine-infused synth-pop for ten years now, but one look at the opaque cover image of their fourth album suggests that maybe things are getting a little more serious. This album certainly marks a bit of a development following 2009's Still Night, Still Light, and after that four-year hiatus they have emerged sounding more sure-footed and adventurous than ever before. That’s not to say they've gone all moody and industrial, but their cheery synth-pop has definitely darkened a little with age.

Lead single 'Somebody Who' is a perfect example of their subtle evolution; a memorable track built on twitchy percussive swells and soaring oblique synths, warped around an irresistibly catchy little chorus hook. The production is slicker and smoother than previous work and draws out their best pop tendencies on a number of tracks, 'Crazy' for instance is an alt.pop hit in waiting and one of the most effortlessly likeable things they've done.

It is on the slower, more atmospheric tracks that their change really shows, such as the brooding and largely instrumental sway of 'We Both Know', which builds a slow ominous momentum. The feathered digital heartbreak of 'Love You Don't Know Me' serves as a reminder of the marvellous grace and subtlety which imbue their songs, and the rotating vocal duties of the three ladies helps navigate these shifting emotional states with ease. While their melodic credentials are well enough established they also flirt with more abstract territory here on 'Boiling Point'; gorgeously humid splashes of noise alongside faded harmonised vocals.

Move in Spectrums is a thoroughly accomplished collection of synth-pop, full of graceful, lithe and inventive songs which should see the band shake off the kind of silly, twee-pop tags which have dogged them for too long.

Released Mon 23 Sep 2013.

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