Straight to the Moon

by HRM on July 26, 2012

Brooklyn-based indie band Au Revoir Simone

Au Revoir Simone

Band-member Erika Forster DJ’d our NYC launch party in May. Now we turn to keyboard/vocalist Annie Hart to answer a few questions. Their last album, Still Night, Still Light (2009), has a crisp beat with delicate vocals, a dreamy pop with a melody that’s both bright and deft.

Describe the ideal event that your music would accompany?
A drive down a country road at sunset.  It winds down a hillside, with a creek to your right.  There are lots of evergreens and ferns with sunbeams shooting through.  And, of course, you are with someone you love and something tragic has happened that made you realize you love them more than you ever thought possible.

Au Revoir Simone is an all-keyboard band. Why the keyboard, for both you, Erika, and Heather? What are its strengths and limitations as an instrument?
Keyboards are awesome, that’s why!   The only limitation I feel is that it’s hard to get the harmonics of a distorted guitar when you play keyboard.  I’ve been listening to a lot of Superchunk lately and coveting that guitar sound.  We’ve been compensating on this new record we’re doing by using delays and phasers and I even bought a very fancy new (old) keyboard.  Very nice.

Au Revoir Simone has been together for nine years, and has issued three records. How has the band’s aesthetic and intention shifted over this time, from Verses of Comfort up to Still Night, Still Light?
I can’t say that I know that it has.  We have always strived for a particular sound, and are still on the hunt for it.  It’s an endless quest.

All three of the band’s members are women–quite unusual, on the indie music scene (and perhaps on the general music scene, too). How does your femininity influence your creative process, if it does at all?
I used to think that the only thing that set us apart from bands that are dudes was that we shared makeup and clothes.  But since I’ve played with other mixed-gender and all-female bands a bunch I’ve changed my mind.  I’ve noticed that bands composed of women tend to be much more collaborative than bands with men.  Even the sensitive, girly-type men that I favor for bandmates.

We get involved in each other’s parts like there’s no tomorrow and don’t have any ego about how we write.  We may love our parts or be endeared to them, but we’re never offended when someone else says she doesn’t like it.  It’s all about trust and openness.

Where are you drawing inspiration from these days?
The film “Synth Britannia,” our producer, Thom Monahan, Krautrock, and Robyn.

Where do you see the band going from here?
Straight to the moon.

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