Au Revoir Simone - Biography
Au Revoir Simone is a Brooklyn-based indie-pop trio that describes itself as making “warm and organic electronic music with forthright female vocalists.” The outfit came together in 2003 and is comprised of former Dirty on Purpose member Erika Forster (vocals/keyboards), Annie Hart (vocals/keyboard) and New Jersey native Heather D’Angelo (vocals/drum machine/keyboard), purportedly when Forster and Hart met on a train trip along the Eastern seaboard. Using minimalist melodic symphonies via Casio’s and synths, along with shared microphone duties, the three ladies are noted for performing behind a bank of keyboards in formation live (bookending Forster)—and the overall sound has been idiosyncratically described as futurist lounge pop.
The Williamsburg band took their name from a line in a Tim Burton movie, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and, after playing house parties and developing their spry sound, ran with it for their first official gigs opening for Hoboken-based band, The Scene Is Now. The first incarnation of the band also featured Sung Lin Park, but she departed in early 2005 in favor of other projects. Learning to play together through trial and error, Au Revoir Simone soon had a rough demo tape that people began kicking around in cyberspace, mostly through blogs. As they began playing around New York City, at clubs like Mercury Lounge and Sine, the band’s popularity grew and London-based super-indie Moshi Moshi Records signed them.
In 2006, Au Revoir Simone released their first full-length album in Europe on the label, the Rod Sherwood-produced Versus of Comfort, Assurance & Salvation. The album was named after a book that Hart had read, and was released on their own in the US. Despite not having a wide release, Salvation established the French-monikered band as something fresh in the world of dream pop and, for the local scene that knew the Simones in their infancy, songs like “The Disco Song” and the instrumental “The Winter Song” were leaps and bounds removed from those days. The band’s identity was established.
After gigging around the States in their debut album’s support, including dates at the Treasure Island Music Festival and the Monolith Festival in Morrison, Colorado, the group returned a year later with the melody-laden The Bird of Music (2007 Our Secret), and comparisons to Stereolab, Modest Mouse and Belle & Sebastian were made. Songs such as “Stars” and “I Couldn’t Sleep” contained the dreamy magic realism that would become more defined in subsequent Au Revoir Simone releases.
The following year the group released a remix album called Reverse Migration (2008 Our Secret) which re-imagined the songs on The Bird of Music. The opening track on the album, “The Lucky One,” was used on an episode of the television show Ugly Better, and another track (“Through the Backyards”) ended up on the season-ending 100th episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Au Revoir Simone returned with their third official full-length album, the Thom Monahan-produced Still Night, Still Light (2009 Our Secret), and for the first time the group broke into Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, climbing to #25. In late 2009, Au Revoir Simone headlined a tour in Japan.