We seem to be going a little ‘electric’ this week. What with the dulcet tones of the iTunes Artist of the week ‘The Weeknd’ to the ‘fantastical imaginative melodramatic pop- rock’ of this weeks Artist focus: Savoir Adore.
Signed to the same label as MGMT; the self claimed ‘fantasy rock’ Brooklyn based pair have been together since 2007 after an impromptu ‘jam’ session that was the catalyst for their merging together. The pair subsquently released their debut in 2009 – ‘In The Wooded Forest’ and their newly released record, and the subject of this weeks review: ‘Our Nature’ was released early November of this year.
The first track from this album Dreamers starts off very lightly with an intro you would expect from the likes of The Postal Service, with a crescendo into a more hip, up beat melody with a gentle drum and base tech feel that continues sounding as if it could have come from ‘Princess of China’ – By Coldplay (really the whole track has elements of this feel). The rich vocals layered over the top, initially solo, sound like they come straight from an 80’s Rick Astley track with a Gotye edge, then slowly and subtly coupled with a soft harmony in the background which gives a bolder feel. The track has a nice feel in terms of the chorus arrangement as it has subtle changes in tempo which mixes nicely with the contrast between the main male vocal for the verse and the main female vocal for the choruses. The female vocal in this instance is lovely, with a beautiful harmonic pure sound and great balance like that of Yuna. The ending of the bridge becomes very anthemic, reminiscent of a lighter Los Campesinos! and the arrangement build up towards the end is smoothly done with more of a pop techno feel that doesn’t detract away from the overall piece. There is a stark difference in the ending, however, one that made me have to check if the tracks had changed and because these songs being reviewed are out of order I had to check if the ending was really a tag on to the next.
The vocals in Sea of Gold bring to mind strong echoes of 80’s ballads by Kate Bush/Eurhythmics– but as if Gotye had gotten hold of them and Florence and the Machine had ad-libbed, while the background melody and technical sound effects bring to mind 80’s movies ala Beverly Hills Cop. Savoir Adore, really work contrast to its best in this track, whether its between them with a lightness of vocal effects riddled throughout or whether they swap verses and chorus parts without sounding awkward and with some definite and not untoward similarities of St Lucia. The bridge in this track is far more rocky this time round with a orchestral solid guitar mixed cinematic edge that is actually a little bit breathtaking (-that is, I’m sure when played at full volume and not at a barely heard level) and it contains the kind of sound that listeners of Electric Guest might be familiar with.
Empire of Light is up beat from the start, with a contrast of a very haunting sounding vocal over the top of very stripped back simple drum and bass guitar riffs, accompanied by some understated electric keyboard melodies. Very much a tangible similarity of ‘Ritual Union’ by Little Dragon. Throughout this track are some lovely and very mixed sweeping vocal arrangements that make sure their songs vary in tone and texture with some seriously strong harmonies throughout; considering that there are only two of them. With this track the two seem more closely united on a vocal front and their talent definitely lies in their strength to seemingly ‘Have a Go’; of which some of their previous tracks: ‘The Scientific findings of Doctor Rousseau’ or ‘Les Grenouilles’, are a prime example.
The album titled track Our Nature starts off a little like Kings of Leon, with a bouncy tech and guitar/drum mix solo sound; before adding the vocals and sound effects in layers allowing the track to sound much more indie trance than all the others. The arrangement here is a lot more varied riding a line between a hyped up vibe of The Tanlines (though less eighties) to a more low key one of something along the lines of a very flowy Pink Floyd or a low key Justice type melody. Though this track shows that they’re not afraid to experiment or to strip down tracks, to let them evolve from more natural vocal accompanied with simple high hat beats alongside synth ad lib; there is something to be said for experimenting a little…oddly. Whereby the track does melt into a very computerised soundbite towards the end, which while not out of touch with the rest of the track, can still be quite jarring. In terms of the end of this particular track however, Savoir Adore are able to slow the track right down all the way to just backing, without it sounding too off key. Simply because they give you such a wealth and breadth of their style in just a few songs; while still leaving you feeling as if they have so much more to give.
Touche Savoir Adore. Full of much Joie De Vivre. We’re only giving a review of 4 of the 12 amazing tracks on the album. Pleasant to listen to, while giving a very chilled out vibe and feel, without becoming monotonic and samey. You bring a fresh feel and sound to these dreary November nights; and to one migraine ridden reviewer!
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