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MP3 of the Day #781: Savoir Adore

 
By on Wednesday, 11th September 2013 at 10:00 am
 

Savoir Adore‘s ‘Regalia’ – a track on their current album ‘Our Nature’ – has been remixed by Lovelife, aka Leonard Newell’s strange post-Viva Brother pop project. Sufficiently intrigued? Get it from here.

 

Video of the Moment #1285: Savoir Adore

 
By on Friday, 9th August 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

As a child, I adored every paper craft imaginable. I used to fold origami animals after school until my hands hurt. So I feel an incredibly affinity to Savoir Adore‘s new video for ‘Regalia’, from their ace 2012 album ‘Our Nature’. Directed by Alex Maxwell and Iwan Zwarts at The Mill with paper landscapes by Hayley Morris, the video is a paper wonderland with Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer and their band as their lovely inhabitants. It’s beautiful. Watch the video below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33g1V7es534[/youtube]

 

Top Albums of 2012: Editor’s Picks

 
By on Tuesday, 18th December 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Wowsers, has this year flown by or what? I can scarcely believe we’re ready to celebrate Christmas in a week’s time, but you know what that means, boys and girls. It’s time for the editor’s top picks of 2012. Unlike most lists that have already published either in print or online, there will be no mentions of Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar or DIIV. Sorry. No, and this year, I tried to get away from dance as I could, which seems really odd considering where I found myself 2 years ago; this is probably good commentary on the music scene at large, where beats – either urban or poppy – have invaded nearly every facet of radio and except for the odd album or two, I found these to be completely devoid of heart. Or character. (But there were 3 in my top 10 that were arguably dance albums, so maybe there’s still hope…) Without further delay, here are my picks for 2012.

The-Crookes-Hold-Fast-cover1. The Crookes – ‘Hold Fast’ (Fierce Panda) – In the shadow of love – in its electric (2010’s #1, Delphic’s ‘Acolyte’) and nostalgic, life affirming (2011’s #1, Noah and the Whale’s ‘Last Night on Earth’) forms – my #1 this year goes as far back to basics with the good ol’ pop-tinged rock ‘n’ roll of Sheffield’s Crookes. I’ve always thought that the smartest songwriters are those that can write catchy tunes while also offering up thought-provoking, intelligent lyric; guitarist Daniel Hopewell fits this description to a T.

This album would feel equally at home in the 1960s as it does in 2012. There is no studio trickery or fancy production here, just heartfelt (and heartbroken in ‘Maybe in the Dark’) feelings being sung to memorable melodies that can help to remind you of simpler times. Or simply remind you of the important people who have coloured your life. Do yourself a favour and get this album. If you’re not sold yet, read my review of ‘Hold Fast’ here.

Keston-Cobblers-Club-cover2. Keston Cobblers’ Club – ‘One, for Words’ (Beatnik Geek) – It has been shown to us time and time again that family members who sing together make some incredible music. (For one, the Beach Boys.) In Julia and Matthew Lowe, we have familial alchemy at work again, this time on some incredible folk pop. When one album can make you laugh, make you cry, make you wistful for a former lover, make you remember through happy tears your life experiences, that is truly special indeed, and that’s what I’ve gotten out of ‘One, for Words’. I expect to be playing this album again and again until my final days. You can read my review of their debut album here.

Grimes-Visions-cover3. Grimes – ‘Visions’ (4AD) – Claire Boucher is now one of the hottest commodities in the music business these days, and surely the biggest game changer from Canada since Arcade Fire. Every time I tried to catch the baby-voiced master of synths and sequencers in 2012, I never actually managed to get in. Thankfully though, I have this album to keep me company whenever things have gone boring in my life. Variety is the key word of this album, with ambient, industrial, pop and minimalist genres all touched on for one eclectic group of songs. Every time you pick up this album, you’ll hear something exciting you missed the last time around, and I don’t think it’s possible for ‘Visions’ to get old. Read my review here.

Casiokids-Aabenbaringen-over-aaskammen-cover4. Casiokids – ‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’ (Moshi Moshi) – There’s no way I could have forgotten the craziness of Casiokids’ third album. Even in the middle of winter, thoughts of a pineapple-shaped maraca, the sheer wonkiness of ‘Det Haster!’ and ‘Dresinen’, and disco and jungle beats working in harmony on the same album easily warmed my heart. This is controlled chaos, in a way that only Nordics manage to do it. And even if you go into this album thinking, “no way is this album going to lift my mood”, trust me, it will. You’ll even leave it with a knowing yet silly grin on your face.Read more here.

Husky cover5. Husky – ‘Forever So’ (Sub Pop) – The Husky debut album was an example of when you keep hearing the name of a band so many times, you’re wondering what the fuss is all about. Well, wonder no more. If you’re the first-ever signing to a indie label as storied as Sub Pop, then you better bring the goods, and Husky Gawenda and co. do just that in a Fleet Foxes meets the sadness of Nick Drake vehicle. If you’ve ever been slayed by gorgeous harmonies, this album’s for you. Read my review of it here.

After the cut: some albums that just missed the top 5 cut, and others that disappointed.

Continue reading Top Albums of 2012: Editor’s Picks

 

Live Review: Savoir Adore with Santah and Royal Canoe at Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel, Washington DC – 20th October 2012

 
By on Wednesday, 24th October 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

After getting stuck in traffic for 2 hours thanks to a university’s homecoming activities, I had a Magners pear (unheard of in DC!) and a pretty good fish and chips at H Street pub the Queen Vic. Properly nourished, I was in a much better headspace to enjoy Savoir Adore on their current North American tour, performing at hole in the wall Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel up the street.

There were two openers. The first was Santah, a five-piece originally from Champaign, Illinois (as explained to me by their bassist Otto Stuparitz), but who have since moved to the Big City, aka Chicago. Santah’s vocals are provided by brother and sister Stan and Vivian McConnell. Think of the lovely harmonies of Grouplove, except without all the craziness, with a good helping of the surf pop chillness of Princeton, but without the airheadedness of Best Coast.

Santah have just released an EP, ‘You’re Still a Lover’, and track ‘I Love the Way You Seal the Deal’, with its “eee-ohhhhh-ohs!” off the EP was one of the standouts of their set. If you like your indie rock unpretentious, with wide-eyed wonderment and made by a pair of siblings who clearly get along with each other (I can’t even imagine being in a band with my brother!), then check these guys out.

The second opener was Winnipeg, Canada sextet Royal Canoe, who had been touring with Savoir Adore from when this Savoir Adore tour began in the Great White North. The RNR stage is already small to begin with, but really, you should have seen all the gear Royal Canoe had with them. Now, when half your band have synths as part of their instrument set-up and you have three drummers – a traditional one, a second who plays electronic drum pads and a third who plays guitar occasionally but obviously preferred hitting a drum with the head of a mike – to me, you’ve really got to show up and prove to me all that gear makes sense to your band.

There’s a ‘canned’ feeling you can’t escape, whether it be some tropical instruments that you hear but you clearly don’t see the said instruments on stage. While they played with a lot of energy and at times had a slow jam Hall and Oates meets r&b vibe that could be very popular on Radio1, and I can see Is Tropical and even Friendly Fires enjoying this band’s more tropicalia moments, I think there’s something to be said to be able to do much with a lot less.

Having impressed me with their EP ‘Dreamers’ this past spring, Savoir Adore didn’t disappoint me with their new album ‘Our Nature’ either. I had worked myself up so much that even with several people cancelling on me, I was determined to have a good time. (Even if I went white-knuckled with nerves as I proceeded to get stuck on Georgia Avenue on the way down…) I’m really glad I went, even if I had to go alone. What I already knew: there would be lovely dream pop moments like ‘Loveliest Creature’, which I was captivated by in Brighton at this year’s Great Escape but this time had group-coordinated hand gestures, and ‘Our Nature’ closing track ‘Sea of Gold’. The coloured spotlights they chose to illuminate the centre of stage – their equipment racks hidden under a white sheet to allow for maximum coloured light reflection – just added to the overall drama.

What I didn’t know: this is a band that can really groove. I wasn’t expecting the loudness of a disco, but I guess I should have expected this from new(er) song ‘Regalia’, the first single from ‘Our Nature’ with a killer bass line. Also unexpected: a cover of Thompson Twins’ ‘Hold Me Now’, which you can get a feeling of from the video below (sorry for the quality; I blame the sound system at the venue, but at least you can see what I’m talking about with the coloured lights). My favourite moment of the night? I wasn’t sure if they’d return for an encore, but I realised after they left the stage the first time, they hadn’t played current single ‘Empire of Light’ yet! They returned and played this and oh god, be still my heart. I guess I must have been verklempt, because I know they played a song after it to end the night, and it looks like ‘Morning Fruits’ to me in my scrawl from in the dark. It’s a good night gigging if you can’t think straight and your mind isn’t working well enough to write properly, eh?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIzWT121EFs[/youtube]

 

Album Review: Savoir Adore – Our Nature

 
By on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

The name Savoir Adore roughly translates to “to know love” in French, and it’s quite an apt name for the pairing of best mates Paul Hammer and Deirdre Muro, whose friendship has led to the release of a concept EP, a debut album, then another EP and now, their second album ‘Our Nature’. Funded by money they raised from Kickstarter, the album and all of its promotional efforts including this North American tour have a humble DIY beginning, but this is a band that wear their hearts on their sleeves, and you can feel that in their music.

Earlier this year, I reviewed their EP ‘Dreamers’, released on Neon Gold, ahead of seeing them at this year’s Great Escape. The two primary songs on that EP, the title track and ‘Sea of Gold’, also appear on the new album. As I alluded to in the EP review, these two tracks are quite different, as if showing two different sides to the electronic duo. This feeling continues in ‘Our Nature’. I think I would have been happy with 12 tracks that were similar to either of these songs, but at the same time, but there are generally three groups of songs proffered here.

One group can only be described as fairy tale fantasy pop. ‘Loveliest Creature’ (a live version of which you can watch below), which sounded amazing in the upstairs performance space at Life in Brighton, is bouncy like ‘Dreamers’ and chronicles the feelings you get when you fall in love and everything comes together perfectly. It’s followed by ‘Sparrow’, featuring some of the most beautifully recorded harmonised vocals in all creation. I’m not sure what exactly the lyrics mean – particularly, “don’t you follow me into the ground” sounds like an more palatable sentiment than the one in Daughter‘s ‘Smother’, but the happiness of the way this song sounds belies any possible darkness it in the lyrics.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmVPu12S0vY[/youtube]

The second group are what I think of twee pop entries: think The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. You might be confused for a moment, because ‘At the Same Time’ sounds like it was written by Kip Berman, except I don’t think Berman ever sings about things like catacombs. Further, ‘Imagination’, ‘Anywhere You Go’ and ‘Our Nature’; these are really great examples of dream pop done right.

The third group of songs are the overt dance numbers, which by the way took me completely by surprise when the band played in Washington last weekend (live review forthcoming). The Late of the Pier-esque ‘Regalia’ is the lead single from the album and appears past the halfway point on the album. The Miami Vice chase-flavoured, New Wave feel of ‘Speed Bump’ and seeming nod to Cut Copy in ‘Sea of Gold’ come even later in the album, as if to move the listener away from the dream pop start. The highlight of the album is ‘Empire of Light’, the band’s current single. With the infectious as all hell bass line and primary melody and the shaking of maracas, I challenge you not to let this get into your head. Even the horn fanfare is placed oh so well; it’s not repeated throughout so to get on your nerves, but its appearance is enough to make you remember the unique addition.

The one oddball of the bunch is ‘Wild Davie’, which is folky and sounds like Bob Dylan (well, Bob Dylan before ‘Duquesne Whistle’, anyway); I can overlook this as a one-off. Hammer and Muro have mentioned in a recent interview that Savoir Adore allows them to experiment with and discovering new sounds, so all in all, I’d say this album as an experiment is a success. Get this album and prepare to be enchanted. Oh, and get your dancing shoes ready for those dance tracks, because this duo also know how to groove.

8/10

‘Our Nature’, Savoir Adore’s second album, is out now on Popular Recordings.

 

Video of the Moment #1001: Savoir Adore

 
By on Thursday, 11th October 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

Savoir Adore‘s ‘Empire of Light’, featured on their new album ‘Our Nature’ out on the 22nd of October, is simply beautiful. Watch the promo vid for the song below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGDY5QbyM7U[/youtube]

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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