photography / ben taylor
styling / sarah perillo
makeup / jess plummer
hair / tina mercurio
story / koko ntuen
Au Revoir Simone is as dreamy a dream pop band can be. The girls just put out their 4th album, Move In Spectrums and the music is a heightened sense of their trademark synth sound mixed with elegance, edge and a certain tone that you can listen to under your covers at night and lull you into deep disco dreams. Not to mention the the girls all look like delicate angels from some hipster heaven. Erika Forster (vocals/keyboard), Annie Hart (vocals/keyboard), and Heather D’Angelo (vocals/drum machine/keyboard) have been performing together for years and the bond they have is evident in the way they interacted during their photoshoot with LADYGUNN. They are light, fun and make beautiful music together. We talked with the girls about being a group, Move In Spectrums and tried to get them to tell us secrets.
When you guys started recording Move In Spectrums did you have a mantra or a theme for the album?
Heather: On of our themes was “Graviton”–the amusement park ride that reaches up to 3Gs during its rotation, effectively pinning the rider to the walls before the floor drops out. When I used to ride the “Gravitron” (every summer at the St. Joan of Ark carnival) my favorite song to listen to was Information Society’s What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy) because it had a heavily side-chained instrumental section that was perfect for blissing out to.
Erika: Yeah, “Gravitron” – let gravity pull you, push you, lose control.
Annie: We also kept talking about bright lights and colors on a crisp, dark night. The way electricity makes colors in a clear way and there’s a stark contrast between neon and black.
What did you anticipate when releasing Move In Spectrums?
Heather: Tons of hard work from promoting the album to touring it.
Erika: I was too preoccupied with all of the rehearsals and decision making to have anticipations.
Annie: When we made this record we were thinking a lot about what kind of songs we wanted to play on stage, so I anticipated dancing and playing a lot of keyboards!
Are there any songs that you guys get the most emotional when you play live?
Heather: I get emotional when we play “We Both Know.”
Erika: the first song in our set, Just Like A Tree, it just sounds so beautiful to me the way the arrangement works together. It feels like our first aggressive, in the way that i want to be aggressive.
Annie: I get pretty emotional when we play “We Both Know,” too. It’s about my first true love cheating on me, and the words span so many of my relationships and hit me so hard every time I sing them. And then when Erika comes in with her keyboard solo at the end it’s so gut-wrenching, it just kills me, it’s like someone took all my heartache that I’ve been holding and turned it inside-out. I have definitely cried on stage while playing that.
Where you working on music for the four years between your debut Still Night, Still Light or did you take a break at all?
Heather: We continued to write music together and play a few shows here and there, but there were definitely large stretches of time where we wouldn’t get together. I was working on an undergraduate degree at the time, so I wasn’t available that often.
Erika: We toured until Dec. 2010 and had most of 2011 off from touring or recording, just small projects, then we started working on this album after that.
What inspires you to make music the most?
Heather: Playing music with Annie and Erika is the most inspiring thing. After that, silence.
Erika: Listening to other music that I love and the little file folder on my laptop of ideas that have entrusted me to make something of them.
Annie: Both of what Heather and Erika said inspire me very much, but I also get inspired by the sound of my instruments. Whenever I have new instruments I have so many new song ideas. It’s great. Motion, like walking or biking alone, also helps. I start thinking and a turn of phrase will pop into my head and then I’ll just start singing it and before I know it, it’s a verse or a chorus.
What is one of your favorite things about being a band together?
Heather: Being able to rely on the support of two other people that I completely love and trust. I might not always be able to make the best decisions for myself, but together, I know we do.
Erika: Being a “band” – it’s a strong feeling, esp. after 10 years!
Annie: It’s so nice to really know people and to know they will be honest with you. It really makes you trust them and your musical output.
Tell us a secret…
Annie: The really good secrets are too juicy for the public to handle.