Au Revoir Simone are the living, musical embodiment of a Sofia Coppolla movie. They are the soft focus, peachy toned, sun-streaked swirling sound of gentle, fresh melancholy. They are the gorgeous bittersweet buzz of the most spellbinding episode of unrequited love. They are the warmth and comfort of a friend’s shoulder to rest on at the end of a night of crushing disappointment. They are a languid yawn in the long grass in imaginary small town America in the sweltering summer, the soundtrack for those who inhabit back-bedrooms wallowing in the dense thud of heartache and the sting of lust turned sour.
All this ethereal beauty is still in place on this, their third album, but with much darker undertones then ever before. Gone is the carefree spirit and the odd note of witty optimism that were evident on previous albums: the twee intonation has been buried, usurped by an even more introspective despondent tone. The synth sound is heavier, the vocals more haunting, the songs rich with yearning and anguish. This new intensity is defined by the woozy somersaulting sound of -Knight Of Wands’. More a bizarre interlude than a standalone track, with its creepy buzzing keyboards that build to a shiver-inducing crescendo and its repetitive plea of ‘Oh joy I can see you/ It’s all I want’, they resemble a funfair mirror PJ Harvey rather than a quaint girly three piece.
The dark disco of -Another Likely Story’ and the pulsating beats of single -Shadows’ are still mixed with their chiming crystal-splintered vocals that sigh with disappointment but they display a band wiling to delve into more innovative Bat for Lashes-style musical complexity. Purists fear not, for the album does contain the charm and simplicity of its predecessors, on tracks such as the painfully pure, piano led -Take Me As I Am’ and the up-tempo albeit contemplative -All Or Nothing’.
The brooding lonely heart that thumps throughout Still Night Still Light may not make the most accessible listening but it does make for Au Revoir Simone’s most thoughtful and intriguing album yet.