Review Summary: Still Night, Still Light is a safe album by a band that doesn't seem to care whether they're playing it safe or not.
2009 has offered up a variety of quality indie-pop records, ranging from the artsy Dance Mother
of Brooklyn duo Telepathe, to Metric's sensual Fantasies
, and even the youthful, sometimes-likeable-sometimes-irritating dream-pop of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's eponymous album. Despite taking on a vaguely similar form and structure, Au Revoir Simone's sound stakes claim to a ground not quite as often explored by their more dance-orientated contemporaries. Perhaps it's due to the simplicity of Au Revoir Simone's latest release, Still Night, Still Light
, but there is a charming innocence to the all-girl trio that permeates through the record's twelve tracks that makes them a real treat to listen to.
Each of Au Revoir Simone's three members bring a different musical background to the band. Where in the past the trio would make a more conscious effort in incorporating each of these influences, which range from folk to punk, Still Night, Still Light
is a more meticulously crafted record. You wouldn't know it when listening though, as the album's flow is natural and easy to digest. There isn't a difficult moment on Still Night, Still Light
; songs like "Another Likely Story" and "Knight of Wands" are pleasant cuts that generate appeal through blissful, electronic melodies. The stark minimalism that Au Revoir Simone uses to achieve this state of serenity is one of the band's more endearing qualities. Voices, keyboards, and a drum machine make up the entirety of Au Revoir Simone's instrumental repertoire, a characteristic that exerts itself in varying degrees throughout Still Night, Still Light
. "Shadows" isn't quite as upbeat as the majority of the album, but it still manages to be one of the record's busier tracks; harmonized keyboards provide a subtle, yet effective touch, while rich vocal lines take forefront, giving the song a soothing edge. "Anywhere You Looked" is a similar, albeit more upbeat piece, and is the most memorable song Still Night, Still Light
has to offer. "We Are Here" takes things in a different direction, stripping down the sound completely, and embracing a slower, sparser structure.
Still Night, Still Light
is a fairly safe album by a band that doesn't seem to care whether they're playing it safe or not. This works out as both a positive and a negative for Au Revoir Simone; virtually every song is fun to listen to, but at the same time, the album can sound a little same-y from time to time. Still Night, Still Light
features two types of songs: those of the fast paced variety, or an assortment more laidback ventures. While the semi-uniform sound and structure of Still Night, Still Light
doesn't really hinder Au Revoir Simone in a major way, it would be nice to see the trio take a risk or two. But then again, maybe it isn't such a big deal. The line "Getting drunk in taxi cabs / And writing names on backs of hands…
" in "Trace a Line" sum up the band's attitude well. Essentially, Still Night, Still Life
is a fun, carefree listen and doesn't pretend to be anything more. As an added bonus, it's also a clear improvement over the band's past works as well.