Existe
Vivre et Laisser Mourir


4.0
excellent

Review

by Claire Q. STAFF
December 25th, 2018 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Man shouts in the woods

Vivre et laisser mourir, professing a connection to environmentalism in mournful, pessimistic tones, feels confessional; it serves as the receptacle for the purging of Existe’s deepest anguishes, perhaps even self-pity, which are delivered bluntly and with no shame. Against the odds, the album has all of its disparate components bounded tightly together — its rustic charm and earnestness unify post-punk rhythms, acoustic strumming, clarinet and glockenspiel, and a trap beat (yes, a trap beat).

I think the appeal of Vivre et laisser mourir comes from the fact that it is wholly lacking in pretence or contrived vision — it feels wonderfully haphazard, unfiltered, cobbled together from instinct. “Les temps modernes”, that aforementioned acoustic-meets-trap song, is the pinnacle of the approach — one wonders how someone decided to throw in a one-off trap section into an otherwise hushed, solemn track, complete with rapping. But it works: maybe because of the surprise factor, or sheer audacity, or even because the flow is oddly satisfying (and sadly doesn’t last long enough). And “L’atténuement”, despite its epic post-metal build-up, has a modesty to it — gentle triple-time measures and vocals at the end that almost feel sighed. The songs themselves are made from simple building blocks: propulsive, bouncing drumming; sweetly endearing harmonies that contrast with the plaintive lyrics; surprisingly ferocious, forceful harsh vocals.

It’s not that Vivre et laisser mourir is innocent, in the sense that it is blissfully ignorant — Existe are all too aware of impending environmental doom and alienation. Actually, therein lies the fascinating contradiction at the heart of the album: fatalism and despair versus a simple, pastoral warmth that is rough around the edges but welcoming nonetheless. You realize that in order to have the strength to deliver the message, one needs at least a vestige of hope; why else warn others, if you know it is futile? But for an outside observer, hope may indeed seem wasted, and environmental efforts are but a drop in an ever-growing ocean. From that perspective, then, there’s sad resignation and a bittersweet smile to be had about the earnest display of concern. And I suspect Existe are aware of this.



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user ratings (6)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
naughtcturnal
December 25th 2018


1452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great write-up. Really happy to see this getting reviewed.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2018


3282 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Beautiful.

Digging: Charli XCX - How I'm Feeling Now

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
December 25th 2018


12522 Comments


It’s a Christmas gift from Clav to sput

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2018


3282 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The fact that his little "rap" on the trap song isn't long enough is definitely my biggest problem with the album. I don't think the band quite know when to linger, things are often so rough and scattered. Which is also, funnily enough, part of their charm. So good.

AsleepInTheBack
Contributing Reviewer
December 25th 2018


6361 Comments


Lovely lovely read.

clavier
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2018


1098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks everyone!

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
December 28th 2018


18893 Comments


hey this isnt brutalism

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
December 28th 2018


18893 Comments


also fantastic review (:

Hawks
December 28th 2018


73730 Comments


Fuck I need this.

Papa Universe
December 28th 2018


22505 Comments


blackgaze post-punk of Claire's praising, just what I need right now

naughtcturnal
December 31st 2018


1452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really hope this is the album that makes them kick off



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